The Indianapolis Colts announced Tuesday that Luck will miss 2-6 weeks with a lacerated kidney and a partial tear of an abdominal muscle. The team says the injuries will not require surgery and a full recovery is expected.
"It's way too early to guess how long Andrew will be out," said coach Chuck Pagano. "We're going to keep listening to the doctors and evaluating his progress on a week by week basis. We've got all the confidence in the world in Matt Hasselbeck and we're not going to put Andrew back out there until he's healed and ready to go."
The injury was suffered early in the fourth quarter against the Broncos, the team announced. Luck amazingly stayed in the game and helped the team finish off a victory.
The Colts have the relative luxury of a quality backup quarterback in Hasselbeck. He helped the team win two games and played very well when replacing Luck earlier in the season when Luck had a shoulder injury.
The timing is especially cruel. Luck is coming off his best performance of the season by far against the top-ranked Broncos defense. We believe the injury occurred on the first play of the fourth quarter, when Broncos linebacker Danny Travathan hits Luck hard in the midsection before defensive tackle Vance Walker crunches Luck from behind. Luck could be seen grimacing at times later in the quarter.
Indianapolis is 4-5, which is good enough for first place in the AFC South. Unless the Texans, Titans or Jaguars go on a run in November, Hasselbeck has a good chance to keep the Colts alive in the playoff race until Luck is healthy again. The Colts are in the middle of their bye week, and head to Atlanta in Week 11. They host the Buccaneers in Week 12. Both teams are struggling to rush the passer or stop opposing offenses, so Hasselbeck has a relatively soft landing back into the lineup.
For Luck, it's another significant setback in a season where many analysts expected him to make a jump to MVP level. Instead he's suffered the two biggest injuries of his career and mostly struggled on the field. Luck is under contract for 2016 after the Colts picked up the fifth-year option of his rookie contract.