Who will play quarterback for the Colts this week? Not Andrew Luck, says Chuck Pagano

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Andrew Luck under center (file image)

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Dec. 21, 2015) – If Andrew Luck plays again this season, it will be Jan. 3 in the Indianapolis Colts’ season finale against the Tennessee Titans.

It’s anyone’s guess who’ll be under center – a beaten-up Matt Hasselbeck? Charlie Whitehurst? – Sunday when they travel to Miami. But it won’t be Luck, who’s still on the mend after suffering a lacerated kidney against Denver Nov. 8.

“He’s not playing this week,” coach Chuck Pagano said Monday.

Luck’s rehabilitation has increased each week. He practiced on a limited basis twice last week, but wasn’t cleared to participate in 11-on-11 team drills.

Once Luck is declared a full-go for practice, he’ll need a few days of work before the Colts feel comfortable in him playing. It’s all in the hands of the team doctors.

Pagano was asked if Luck still could play before the season ends.

“Yes,” he said, but quickly added there are stipulations to that.

“(The doctors) clear him, he’s 100 percent and then we get some practices under his belt,” Pagano said. “If it came to pass where he got cleared and we’re playing the next day, highly unlikely.”

As for Hasselbeck, Pagano conceded his 40-year-old QB is “dealing with stuff.”

Of the quarterback, Pagano said, “He’s beat up from the feet up.”

Hasselbeck temporarily was knocked from Sunday’s 16-10 loss to Houston with a sore jaw and possible concussion after being driving to the ground by Texans’ linebacker Whitney Mercilus. He already was dealing with rib, back and neck injuries, and also was sent to the sidelines in the lopsided losses at Pittsburgh and Jacksonville.

“He’s fighting through a lot of stuff,” Pagano said. “There’s probably nine out of 10 QBs that don’t get up off the mat, no pun intended. But that’s how Matt’s wired.

“He’s a warrior. He’s beat up. He’s not 100 percent, we all know that. He’s not the same guy that we saw earlier. It’s taken its toll.”

The Colts might have to sign a quarterback simply to practice this week. The Tennessee Titans signed Alex Tanney off their practice squad. That leaves Whitehurst as the only healthy QB.

“You’ve got it right. I was looking, too,” Pagano said. “There isn’t anybody else.”

Roster moves: The team placed wide receiver Griff Whalen (fractured rib) and defensive tackle Billy Winn (torn rotator cuff) on the injured reserve list and waived running back Zurlon Tipton.

Those three spots on the active roster were filled by elevating defensive end Earl Okine and Kelcy Quarles from the practice squad, and signing running back Trey Williams off Miami’s practice squad.

Pagano said backup safety Winston Guy is day-to-day with a grade 1 hamstring injury, and that rookie receiver Phillip Dorsett was OK Monday after leaving Sunday’s game with an ankle injury.

You can follow Mike Chappell on Twitter at @mchappell51

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