Right now, the Colts aren’t hopeful that Luck could be cleared in time for the pivotal game, so they are planning for Scott Tolzien to get the nod, Rapoport reports (on Twitter). If the backup is forced into action, it would be the second straight season the Colts will face the Steelers without Luck. Pittsburgh beat Indianapolis 45-10 in Week 13 last year.
Chuck Pagano said the team will prepare Tolzien to be the starter this week, with Luck needing to navigate several stages in hopes of returning by Thursday night. Luck is being evaluated for a concussion by this distinction since going into concussion protocol doesn’t mean the quarterback has one. Luck wasn’t feeling well after Sunday’s win against the Titans, per Pagano.
The Colts sit 5-5 and in second place in the AFC South and two games back in the conference’s wild-card race. Luck has started every game last year after missing nine starts last season, which represent his only games missed since being drafted No. 1 overall.
Formerly Aaron Rodgers‘ backup in Green Bay, Tolzien signed in Indianapolis this offseason but has scant starting experience. A Rodgers 2013 injury left Tolzien in command of the Packers’ offense briefly, but the team signed Matt Flynn after Tolzien made two starts, going 0-1-1. He’s a career 61 percent passer, with 90 of his 91 regular-season attempts coming during that 2013 stretch. The 29-year-old Tolzien has one career touchdown pass and five interceptions.
Luck’s odds at playing Thursday appear slim due to the short time between the Colts’ Week 11 and Week 12 games, with Mike Garafolo of NFL.com noting (on Twitter) Davante Adams doing so earlier this season represents among the few exceptions.
This season, Luck’s completing a career-high 62.9 percent of his throws. The former Stanford prodigy has thrown for 2,827 yards, 19 touchdowns, with eight interceptions.
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