Sportress of Blogitude

Matt Hasselbeck: Colts are ‘100 percent Andrew Luck’s team’

Matt Hasselbeck has stepped in for an injured and ineffective Andrew Luck and not only has he performed in a capable manner, he has pulled the Indianapolis Colts (6-5) back from the proverbial abyss and a tie for first place in the AFC South. But even he understands that when the team’s franchise quarterback is healthy enough to play, he’ll have to graciously step back and return to his backup role.

“I know the truth, I know what reality is,” he said, via ESPN.com. “This is 100 percent Andrew Luck’s team. Not only is he the quarterback of the future, he’s been the quarterback of the past. He has earned every bit of respect that he gets in this locker room. Nothing has been given to him. It’s his team. I think he and I are clear on that.”

The 40-year-old veteran signal-caller has posted a 4-0 record in Luck’s stead, completing 65 percent of his passes while throwing seven touchdowns and only two interceptions (94.4 QB rating).

Luck, on the other hand, struggled mightily in the games in which he’s played this season, going 2-5 while only completing 53 percent of his passes while throwing 15 touchdowns and an alarming 12 interceptions (74.9 QB rating).

Colts head coach Chuck Pagano obviously understands he’s got a quarterback in Hasselbeck performing at an extremely high level. But he nevertheless blew off any notion that Luck won’t be back under center when he’s healthy enough to do so.

“I’m not even going to go there,” he said when asked if he’d consider keeping Luck on the bench and riding the hot hand with Hasselbeck, via the Indy Star. “That’s ludicrous.”

Luck, meanwhile, had nothing but nice things to say about Hasselbeck as he works to recover from a lacerated kidney and partially torn abdominal muscle.

“He’s done a heck of a job and he’s a heck of a quarterback,” he said. “He’s probably playing at a Pro Bowl level right now. It is fun to watch.”