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Pagano 'fairly confident' Hasselbeck will play Sunday

In the immediate aftermath of Sunday's loss to the Steelers, Colts quarterback Matt Hasselbeck expressed doubts over whether he would be healthy enough to play this weekend against the Jaguars.

Colts coach Chuck Pagano, however, dispelled fears Monday that Hasselbeck wouldn't get a chance to bounce back from his first loss in five starts this season.

Pagano said he's "fairly confident" Hasselbeck will play Sunday against Jacksonville despite suffering a mild rib separation and a sore/stiff back in the 45-10 loss to the Steelers.

"(Doctors) tell me they pretty much feel like he'll be on the practice field and ready to go on Wednesday," Pagano said. "If we have to monitor or limit some reps, certainly we'll do that. But we're confident he should be all right."

Pagano cautioned it's still early and there remains a chance Hasselbeck will not play. If the 40 year old can't go, Indianapolis will be forced to turn to Charlie "Clipboard Jesus" Whitehurst, the ineffectual, flowing-maned backup who finished the game Sunday and owns just nine career starts over as many NFL seasons.

With Andrew Luck not expected back until Week 15, the Colts (6-6) remain tied atop the AFC South with J.J. Watt and the Texans. Rolling into Sunday with anything less than Hasselbeck at the controls would amount to hyper-dodgy territory for this up-and-down Indy squad.

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