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Andrew Luck in concussion protocol, muddying status for Thanksgiving

By The Sports Xchange
Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck (12). Photo by John Sommers II/UPI
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INDIANAPOLIS -- The Indianapolis Colts' road to the post-season hit a huge speed bump Monday when it was disclosed that quarterback Andrew Luck has entered the National Football League's concussion protocol program.
Head coach Chuck Pagano announced after Monday's walkthrough practice that Luck was probably concussed late in the fourth quarter of Sunday's game with Tennessee. His status for Thursday night's nationally-televised home game with Pittsburgh is currently in limbo.
Luck missed nine games last year after experiencing kidney and shoulder issues. If he can't play against the Steelers, backup Scott Tolzien would get the start. The Colts are also expected to promote quarterback Stephen Morris from the practice squad.
"We've got a guy that comes to work every single day and prepares like a starter ever since he's been in this building," Pagano said. "He understands and knows this offense and if that's the case, he'll go out and play winning football."
Safety Clayton Geathers developed concussion symptoms after the Titans' win as well.
"Andrew and Clayton Geathers, pretty much well after we were all done with media and the locker room and things like that, both guys didn't feel right," the Colts' head coach explained.
"Both guys went in the training room and saw our docs and both were evaluated for concussions. Both are in the protocol and it's up to the docs and trainers to monitor that situation. So that's where that's at."
The evaluation period under the league's concussion protocol system usually plays out over a five-to-seven-day period. There is no set timetable or recovery period. But with Indianapolis facing the Steelers Thursday night, getting either player back in time could prove problematic.
Tolzien signed with the Colts during the offseason after spending the previous three seasons serving as Aaron Rodgers' top backup in Green Bay. The former Wisconsin player, who began his NFL career with the 49ers in 2011, has played in six games and started two during his six-year career.
The 6-foot-2, 213-pound quarterback hasn't started a regular-season game since 2013. He made his first NFL start against the New York Giants on Nov. 17, 2013, completing 24-of-39 passes for 339 yards and three interceptions. The 339 yards were the most by a Packers quarterback in his first start.
Tolzien also started a week later against Minnesota and connected on 7-of-17 passes for 98 yards.
As for facing the Steelers, Pagano knows it will be a tough matchup for Indianapolis (5-5) with or without two of his best players in the lineup.
"We have to jump, obviously, on (Pittsburgh) today. There's not a lot of time to look back and see what we did (against the Titans). You've got to move on. We talked about that (Sunday) night," the coach said.
"Excellent football team, obviously coming to town, physical on both sides of the ball. Good on special teams. Got a bunch of game wreckers, as we all know. So we have a short window to get mentally, physically, emotionally ready for this contest. It's another great opportunity for us to keep moving forward."
Andrew Luck in concussion protocol, muddying status for Thanksgiving Reviewed by Chidinma C Amadi on 12:42 AM Rating: 5

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