Andrew Luck: Will He Start Sunday?

Barry Petchesky of Deadspin has several observations about Indianapolis Colts QB Andrew Luck, whose status for Sunday remains uncertain. The image of Luck wincing when backup QB Matt Hasselbeck taps him on the chest is telling. So is the Colts’ recent move to sign QB Josh Johnson.

If Luck can’t go Sunday, the 40-year-old Hasselbeck will start behind one of the worst offensive lines in the NFL. Yes, the Broncos have their O-line issues, but they look trivial compared to the Colts, who have addressed their offensive line under Ryan Grigson thusly:

* Extended OT Anthony Castanzo, the last first-round pick made by former GM Bill Polian (2011).
* In 2012, signed C/G Mike McGlynn, who lasted two seasons and has bounced around to three teams, and C Samson Satele, who lasted two seasons, played for Miami last year, and is currently a free agent.
* In 2013, signed OT Gosder Cherlius, who was cut at the start of training camp this year and is now with Tampa Bay; signed OG Donald Thomas, who was injured two games into the season, injured again in 2014 and was cut at the end of training camp this year; drafted OG Hugh Thornton in the third round and C/G Khaled Holmes in the fourth round, both who are starting but have struggled.
* In 2014, drafted OT Jack Mewhort, who struggled at left guard last year, has been moved to right tackle and continues struggling.
* In 2015, signed OG Todd Herremans, who was one of Philadelphia’s worst offensive linemen last year, and didn’t draft an offensive lineman until the final pick of the draft, using it on current backup OT Denzelle Good.

It’s no wonder Andrew Luck has taken a pounding the past couple of seasons. Now the Colts could be forced to start a quarterback who is older than Peyton Manning and never played at the level Peyton did.

John Elway has had his misses (Phillip Blake, anyone?) but at least you can point to him signing Louis Vasquez, Evan Mathis and Will Montgomery and drafting Orlando Franklin. Ryan Grigson, thus far, hasn’t signed or drafted one offensive lineman who could be considered a good starter, other than extending a lineman Polian drafted. (Here’s how Pro Football Focus evaluated Indy’s starting lineup entering training camp if you want a telling reference point.)

If Hasselbeck starts, he can at least be thankful it’s against the Jaguars.

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Bob Morris

I'm a sports writer in real life, though I've always focused on smaller communities, but that hasn't stopped me from learning more about some of the ins and outs of the NFL. You can follow me on Twitter @BobMorrisSports if you can put up with updates on the high school sports teams I cover.