We’re all looking for signs on Andrew Luck’s availability for Week 1 and beyond, and it’s easy to read too much into everything.
But the Colts’ decisions on quarterback for the third preseason game are worth noting.
Jacoby Brissett will be held out of the team’s preseason game this week, according to Zak Keefer of The Athletic.
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That doesn’t necessarily mean Luck, who is dealing with an ambiguous high ankle injury, won’t be available for the season opener. But it’s clear the team is making plans just in case he’s not. And keep in mind, Frank Reich said earlier this month that he preferred to pick a Week 1 starter after the third preseason game.
Frank Reich is targeting after next Saturday to have a better idea on a starting QB for Week 1:— Kevin Bowen (@KBowen1070) August 14, 2019
“You have to be able to make a call and move from there whether we’re full speed with Andrew after that third preseason game or if at that point we are going with Jacoby."
Jacoby Brissett protected in case he has to start
For many years, the third preseason game was considered the so-called dress rehearsal, and starters would play at least a half. More teams are following a different model, and limiting starters in the third (or every) preseason game. Cam Newton’s injury on Thursday night reinforces that it might be the best idea.
By sitting out Brissett, the Colts are protecting themselves. At the moment he is their starter, considering Luck hasn’t returned to practice. Keefer said Luck could practice as soon as next Monday, and when Luck does practice and looks healthy he’ll be the obvious starter.
But until then the Colts need to protect Brissett, just in case he has to start Week 1.
Brissett has had some good moments
The Colts will be in a tough spot if Luck returns to practice soon and looks something less than 100 percent. He has barely practiced this offseason due to a calf injury and then ankle injury. Indianapolis plays at the Los Angeles Chargers, who have a strong defense, in Week 1. The Colts have said they won’t put a player on the field if he’s at risk.
Brissett is capable. He started 15 games when Luck missed the 2017 season, throwing for 3,098 yards, 13 touchdowns and seven interceptions. He had some promising moments. The Colts clearly want Luck back as soon as possible, but they shouldn’t feel helpless if Brissett has to start.
Brissett won’t play in the third preseason game. The next question is whether he’ll play in the first regular season game.
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