INDIANAPOLIS – Each week, readers of Colts.com can submit their questions to have a chance of them being answered in our Wednesday or Saturday mailbag.
With the abundance of questions in recent weeks, we will have two mailbags each week. This one comes via a weekend edition (here's the Wednesday version from this week).
Here is this weekend's collection:Al O. (Ocala, FL)
If both Andrew Luck, and Matt Hasselbeck are out for next week, who will be the starter, and back ups at quarterback?
Bowen: Al isn't messing around to start off our Saturday mailbag. Under your scenario, 10-year vet Charlie Whitehurst would be the team's starting quarterback. Ironically enough, Whitehurst has filled in for an injured Matt Hasselbeck before, leading a team to the playoffs. Now, it sounds like Hasselbeck is ready to go. He's listed as probable. So, he should be the starter for a seventh time this season and Whitehurst will be the backup.
Zac. N (Butler, IN)
After watching the last two games and seeing our qb on his back for the majority of the game as well as seeing our defense get absolutely torched in the second half by the Jaguars I was wondering your thoughts about this upcoming draft and who the Colts could possibly take. I know Castonzo is out which hurts the o-line tremendously but it is still very bad. And the defense has a ton of wholes throughout the lineup. So I'm wondering what position you think would be the best for next year. Thanks again!
Bowen: Zac, of course I expect at least one draft pick to be used on an offensive lineman come next April. This is a question that is going to continue for the next handful of months. You will hear me say often though that teams in the NFL just don't draft specifically off of position needs. How the board falls is how teams almost always operate their draft board. So yes, while offensive line is a definite need, they aren't going to pass up some edge rusher or cornerback that could fall to them.
Paul M. (Pittson, PA)
Hey Kevin,another Sunday, another blow out. Haven't heard any comments from Irsay. What has he been saying?
Bowen: We've heard from Jim Irsay briefly after a few games this season. He typically doesn't meet the media during the season in a press conference setting, so this isn't surprising. When the Colts season comes to a close, or if this team makes the playoffs, I expect Irsay will have an extended sit down with the media. Irsay's Twitter account has also been very quiet this year.
Ayden A. (Indiana)
How has Charlie Whitehurst prepared if he does end up in the starting spot this Sunday?
Bowen: Whitehurst has received a heavy bulk of the first-team reps in practice this week. If there is a bit of silver lining in the injuries to Luck and Hasselbeck this week, it's that has allowed for Whitehurst to receive reps he hadn't previously taken with the first-team. Those are obviously critical if the Colts have to start him on Sunday. The very limited game action Whitehurst has been thrown into the past two weeks hasn't been ideal at all. From a preparation standpoint, Whitehurst had just about a full week of starter-type reps, if the Colts have to call on No. 6 in the game of the season this Sunday.
Evan S. (Wichita, KS)
Do you think the colts will let go of Andrew Luck and get some rookie out of the draft or let him test free agency. Because I want them to trade him for a defensive lineman or another draft pick like a 1st rounder for this year and also in 2017?
Bowen: No, Evan. No chance.
Laurence F. (Bedford, TX)Do you think the colts see Harrison and Good the answer to C & RG?
Bowen: I don't think the Colts see those guys as the answers at both those spots. Let's start with Harrison. The team obviously likes Harrison. Not many undrafted rookies come in and start 16 combined games at center in their first two seasons. I could definitely see Harrison being a guy that once again is in the mix to start at center next year. Now, Good is definitely not the answer at right guard. The Colts have worked the "350-pound dancing bear" almost exclusively at right tackle, not guard. I certainly believe Good is a long-term option at right tackle. Joe Reitz will be 31 next year and has two years left remaining on his contract. Good is a potential grooming option along the edge for the Colts.
Ben H. (Indiana)
It looks like Cam Newton wears a different type of protective vest than Andrew Luck was wearing. Are the Colts evaluating all options?
Bowen: Ben, I can assure you the Colts medical team has analyzed any and all options for their franchise quarterback. They know the importance of Luck, and, frankly, the health of all their players.
Cindy W. (Indianapolis)
Is Luck gonna play anytime soon?
Bowen: As I'm sure you've read on Colts.com, Andrew Luck has been ruled OUT for Sunday's game with the Texans. Tuesday will mark six weeks since it was announced Luck would miss two-to-six weeks with a lacerated kidney/abdominal muscle injury. Luck retuned to practice this week and once he receives clearance to take part in 11-on-11 drills, he will be game ready. Jim Irsay said a few weeks back that he thought Luck would be ready for the Houston or Miami game, so it appears to be the latter for the return of No. 12.
Taggyrt M.(Keenesburg, Co)
So if it came down to Griff Whalen at QB to lead the Colts to a division championship, would he run the read option. What is ur opinion on him as a quarterback. Do u think he could play well? Thanks again Kevin!
Bowen: Well, of all the Griff Whalen questions we have received this year, I never thought this would come up. Yes, Whalen is the emergency quarterback for the Colts. Me trying to give a true evaluation of how Whalen would play quarterback in the NFL wouldn't be fair. I've seen Whalen throw the football as much as I've seen you, Taggyrt. Let's just say if Whalen is under center for any part of Sunday, Colts fans should hope they have a large lead. I don't see a full-on Wildcat offense leading the Colts to victory against Houston's defense.