INDIANAPOLIS – Who will be the Colts starting quarterback in Week 17?
Chuck Pagano had no answer to that question after the team placed Charlie Whitehurst on injured reserve Monday afternoon.
When the Colts get back to the practice field on Wednesday, there will continue to be the ever-growing list of questions at the quarterback position.
Here is what Pagano had to say to the media on Monday afternoon:
- S-Colt Anderson (ankle): Didn't play on Sunday after being a game-time decision in Miami. Pagano is hopeful to have Anderson back this week.
- OLB-Trent Cole (concussion): In the concussion protocol after leaving Sunday's game in the fourth quarter.
- S-Winston Guy (hamstring): Missed Sunday's game in Miami. Pagano is hopeful to have Guy back to practice on Wednesday.
- QB-Matt Hasselbeck (shoulder): Grade One AC sprain. He's doubtful for the week.
- QB-Andrew Luck (abdomen/kidney): No update. Luck has not yet been ruled out for Sunday.
- LB-Josh McNary (groin): Just like Anderson, McNary was a game-time decision in Miami. Listed now as day-to-day.
Chuck Pagano on Stephen Morris being the leading candidate to start on Sunday:
"He's the only healthy one we've got in the building right now."
Bowen's Analysis:* *Was Morris really just one play away from getting into the game on Sunday? That appears to be the case after the Colts placed Charlie Whitehurst on injured reserve Monday afternoon.
With Matt Hasselbeck doubtful, Andrew Luck yet to be cleared, Morris is the only healthy quarterback on the Colts 53-man roster going into Week 17. Chuck Pagano did confirm on Monday that the team worked out Josh Freeman (60 career starts). As of Monday afternoon, Pagano said the Colts were still discussing whether to sign Freeman. The Colts are likely to bring in another quarterback this week with a decided starter for Tennessee a couple of days away from being named (at the earliest).
Chuck Pagano on using Andrew Luck (if cleared) despite the Colts possibly being eliminated from the playoffs:
"I think that's a discussion that obviously Mr. Irsay, Ryan (Grigson), myself and Andrew would have to sit down and have."
Bowen's Analysis: On Monday, Pagano had no update on Luck as the quarterback waits to be cleared for team drills. Luck has practiced the past two weeks (in a limited role) and spoke last week about his desire to play in Week 17 (if cleared).
Pagano elaborated on Monday how grateful he is to have had Matt Hasselbeck and Charlie Whitehurst in relief this season. Without Luck though, the offense has clearly been hindered. No team plans in Training Camp to use their backup(s) for more than half of a season, but that has been the case for the 2015 Colts.Chuck Pagano on if he wonders if this could be his last week coaching this team:
"I'm worried about the health of our football team, coming off a great win and preparation for the next one. That's all you can do."
Bowen's Analysis: Peppered with questions about his future in Indianapolis on Monday, Pagano wasn't budging in addressing what could happen this time next week. Pagano said on Monday that he doesn't regret not taking a contract extension last offseason. According to Pagano, he and Owner Jim Irsay have not spoken about the head coach's future with the Colts.
Heading into Training Camp in Anderson, Pagano nor any Colts player could have seen the adversity coming. After starting every game his first three seasons, Andrew Luck has missed more than half of the 2015 season. A season that started with serious Super Bowl aspirations has come down to the Colts needing to watch a Week 16 Monday Night Football game to see if their slim playoff hopes will live for five more days.**
On Monday, the Colts placed guard Hugh Thornton and quarterback Charlie Whitehurst on the Injured Reserve list. That leaves two open spots on the team's 53-man roster.
Thornton will have surgery on his ankle after leaving Sunday's game during the second quarter. Khaled Holmes filled in at right guard for Thornton.
It's a "grade two" hamstring injury for Whitehurst, so that's the reason for him going to IR. The Colts are likely to sign another quarterback to the 53-man roster this week.