INDIANAPOLIS – When Matt Hasselbeck couldn't talk on Wednesday night, Andrew Luck was the voice.
Luck might have missed his second straight game on Thursday night, but he provided much more than support for a bed-ridden Hasselbeck.
"He was incredibly helpful," Hasselbeck said of Luck after the win in Houston.
"He ran every meeting like he was playing. I had nothing (Wednesday). I was in the room, and he was speaking for me. I felt it was very awkward. Andrew is a great teammate, and he got the offensive line going, the receivers going. He helped me study. I can't say enough about him. He's a great kid."
The "kid" was ruled out on Thursday after the Colts evaluated him in the morning.
Luck will now have 20 days off from his last game action, in Nashville, when the Colts take the field a week from Sunday against the Patriots.
Chuck Pagano offered the phrase "supremely confident" again on Thursday night when asked about Luck's availability against New England.
"He's getting better every single day. He's really, really close," Pagano said of Luck after the game.
"We've got to make decisions based on what's best for the player, first and foremost, and then what's best for the team."
For the second straight week, the Colts quarterback roles were reversed.
And, once again, it was Luck embracing everything about the "backup" role, even if it mean going beyond the normal duties.
"He said he was so proud of me, once again proving, he is the mentor," Hasselbeck said of Luck's post-game embrace with his fellow quarterback.
"I've learned more from that kid than I could ever teach him or rub off on him."