In a press conference on Wednesday, Indianapolis Colts head coach Chuck Pagano confirmed that normal starter Andrew Luck will not be healthy enough to return for the team’s final game. Pagano also indicated that the team’s starting quarterback for the game will not be publicly released until Sunday, which appears to rule out much-used back-up Matt Hasselbeck.
Earlier this week, the Colts signed two veteran free agent quarterbacks, Josh Freeman and Ryan Lindley, to compete alongside Stephen Morris, who had been signed from the Philadelphia Eagles practice squad just a week before.
A variety of injuries, including a lacerated kidney, limited Luck to just seven games played this year, games in which the team finished 2-5. This season, the fourth in Luck’s career, represents the first in which he missed any regular season game; the first time in which the Colts finished below .500 (they had gone 11-5 in all three previous seasons); and is likely to be the first time that Luck will not start for the Colts in the playoffs.
Luck’s cap hit escalates from $7.03 million this year to $16.15 million next year. He is currently scheduled to enter the free agent market following the 2016 season — a fate that the Colts are all-but certain to try avoiding by attempting to sign Luck to an extension.