Two weeks ago, Colts owner Jim Irsay said that the team was targeting Week 15 for quarterback Andrew Luck’s return. The target has now moved.
According to Adam Schefter of ESPN, the Colts weren’t optimistic as of last week that Luck will be cleared to return from a lacerated kidney in time for Sunday’s AFC South showdown with the Texans. This week, doctors will have the final say on whether he plays.
With backup Matthew Hasselbeck once again banged up, that could mean Charlie Whitehurst will be under center when the Colts try to extend to 14 their all-time home winning streak against the Texans — a game Indy won even in 2011, when the Colts were 2-14 and the Texans made it to the playoffs for the first time in franchise history.
This year, the Colts and Texans are each 6-7, and the Colts will hold the head-to-head tiebreaker with a win on Sunday, forcing the Texans to win out and the Colts to lose their last two in order to give Houston the division crown.
If the Texans win on Sunday, it gets a lot more interesting. But here’s what will be the simplest thing to understand: The Colts will have little chance to make it to the playoffs or to advance without Luck.
Which means that coach Chuck Pagano could soon be leaving the job that he has called his last one.