INDIANAPOLIS – A larger than normal media contingent was present at the Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center for Thursday's open portion of practice.
The status of Andrew Luck's injured right shoulder had the media's full attention on Thursday.
Here are sound bites from Matt Hasselbeck, Pep Hamilton and Greg Manusky meeting the media:
Backup quarterback Matt Hasselbeck on Thursday's practice:
"I didn't expect today to be like yesterday, (but) basically today was very similar to yesterday, in terms of what my day looked like."
"I'm sure Andrew is going to try and play and I expect Andrew to play."
Bowen's Analysis:* *For a second straight day, Andrew Luck was limited at practice. Friday will see Chuck Pagano meet the media (he doesn't meet with the media on Thursday's) and that will bring the final injury report of the week.
During the open media portion of Thursday's practice, Luck's workload was restricted to hand offs and tossing pitches to running backs. Backup quarterback Matt Hasselbeck and new practice squad signal caller Alex Tanney did the throwing. The quarterbacks initially warmed up inside the team's indoor facility before joining the rest of their teammates outside for practice. What's hard to gauge in Luck's shoulder injury is there's no precedent for him injury wise at the NFL level. Also, Luck suffered the shoulder injury in the Tennessee game (unknown what point the injury occurred), yet still was 11-of-13 for 144 yards in the final quarter.
Offensive Coordinator Pep Hamilton on the offensive line's play against Tennessee:
"I felt like we did a really good job of communicating…and were able to have some success running the ball.
"We are excited about the momentum we hopefully created."
Bowen's Analysis: It looks like the Colts will have the same starting offensive line for the second straight week. The line protected much better in the fourth quarter last Sunday and that's where the momentum Hamilton is talking about comes into play, along with the strong afternoon running the ball.
As far as Andrew Luck, Hamilton would not say if the Colts starting quarterback threw or not at Thursday's practice. Hamilton did say Matt Hasselbeck has looked his normal self in practice. In four games of action last year, Hasselbeck was 30-of-44 (68.2 percent) for 301 yards and two touchdowns.Defensive Coordinator Greg Manusky on the play of Robert Mathis:
"Robert is getting back to his old form, still going to take a little bit of time."
Bowen's Analysis: A crazy stat regarding Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles is how he has handled blitzes this year. When not blitzed, Bortles is a 54 percent passer with a quarterback rating of 67.4. When blitzed, Bortles is a 52 percent passer with a quarterback rating of 113.2 (numbers from Pro Football Focus). He's obviously hit on some big plays when blitzed and avoided the major mistake.
Manusky talked again on Thursday how he has had to play more zone this year due to the injuries at the cornerback position. The Colts should have the services of veteran Darius Butler back in the lineup on Sunday. Also, look for the playing time for Mathis to increase. He's played 13 and 20 snaps the last two weeks.
Here is the injury report for Thursday:
- DNP: ILB-D'Qwell Jackson (rest), RB-Tyler Varga (concussion), OLB-Bjoern Werner (rest)
Varga has missed practice for two straight days, putting his status for Sunday in definite jeopardy. If Varga can't go, the Colts do have Zurlon Tipton on the practice squad as a possible third running back.
- LIMITED: TE-Dwayne Allen (ankle), CB-Darius Butler (hip), LB-Trent Cole (knee), CB-Vontae Davis (rest/ankle), QB-Andrew Luck (right shoulder), CB-Greg Toler (neck)
-Both Allen and Cole got back on the practice field Thursday in limited roles, after they both sat out Wedenesday.
- FULL: WR-Andre Johnson (rest), OLB-Robert Mathis (rest), RB-Josh Robinson (back) and Hugh Thornton (knee)
-This is the first time Mathis has been a full participant at practice all season long. Robinson was limited Wednesday.