Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck was among the team's inactives Sunday and will miss the first game of his four-year NFL career due to a shoulder injury.
The team announced its inactives about 90 minutes prior to kickoff at Lucas Oil Stadium, where the Colts were hosting the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Worst fears were realized much earlier than that. ESPN's Chris Mortensen, citing unnamed sources early Sunday morning, first reported the Pro Bowl passer wouldn't play due to a sore right throwing shoulder injured in the Colts' 35-33 road win at Tennessee last week. NFL.com and other national media outlets quickly filed the same report.
Although Luck was limited in practice all week, head coach Chuck Pagano had expressed "supreme" confidence his star would be able to go against the Jaguars in a clash of 1-2 AFC South Division teams. Luck said he was approaching the week like any other, as if he would start.
But the franchise quarterback wasn't at practice Friday during the early portion of the workout that the media is permitted to watch. He had a had a private throwing session on Saturday, according to NFL.com's Ian Rapoport, and Luck was still in pain with what a magnetic resonance imaging exam revealed to be a bruised shoulder.
It's the first time the 2012 No. 1 overall selection has missed an NFL game in 51 regular-season starts as well as six playoff games. He's taken more hits than any other quarterback, by far, in the last year, including 21 hits and five sacks this season.
Quarterback Matt Hasselbeck, a 40-year-old backup who is being paid $3 million as an insurance policy, will start his first game since 2012. The 17th-year veteran took most of the practice snaps with the first team during the week.
News spread fast outside of Lucas Oil Stadium. About three hours before kickoff, two Colts fans wearing No. 12 Luck jerseys were walking a block from the stadium when another fan asked the question inquiring minds have been asking all week.
"Is Luck going to play?" he said.
"No," the two fans responded in unison, their voices in an unmistakably dejected tone.
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