Andrew Luck will not play Thursday, Jay Cutler might not be out for season

Andrew Luck will not play Thursday, Jay Cutler might not be out for season
Indianapolis quarterback Andrew Luck is in the NFL's concussion protocol and will not be ready to play Thanksgiving Day. (Grant Halverson / Getty Images)

The Indianapolis Colts announced Wednesday that Andrew Luck has been ruled out of Thursday night's game against Pittsburgh.

Luck has been in the league's mandated concussion protocol since Sunday night when he complained of concussion-like symptoms following a 24-17 victory over Tennessee.


Jay Cutler's season might not be over, despite pessimistic reports. The Chicago Bears quarterback injured his right shoulder and his status for this week is uncertain, although Coach John Fox said Wednesday it apppears less signficant than some earlier media reports suggested.

"It's not season ending, contrary to the reports you heard," Fox said.

Colts Coach Chuck Pagano had remained hopeful that Luck could be cleared in time for the game, but when Luck missed practice for the third consecutive day, Indianapolis (5-5) didn't have a choice. Pagano has not said who will replace Luck, though it is likely to be backup Scott Tolzien.

Tolzien has not started an NFL game since 2013. Indianapolis also promoted Stephen Morris from the practice squad to the active roster. Morris has never played in an NFL game.

Cutler injured his shoulder in Sunday's 22-16 loss to the New York Giants, but finished the game.

"You know, in my experience with Jay, he's a tough son of a gun," Fox said. "So he doesn't go typical of the lengths people put into it as far as weeks and whatnot. So, you know, right now he is day to day."

The Bears practiced with Matt Barkley taking all the snaps Wednesday in preparation for Sunday's game at Soldier Field against the Tennessee Titans. It would be Barkley's first NFL start.

Fox was vague on how severe the labrum injury Cutler suffered actually is. He didn't dispute that Cutler has a labrum tear or that he might eventually need surgery.

"Tear is kind of a broad term," Fox said. "It is sore. There is soreness to it. But there is a lot of things in the shoulder that can affect the quarterback. Some of them can be just chronic, old, just wear and tear, like pitchers or quarterbacks in the National Football League.

"So it's injured, but it's not season ending."


Robert Griffin III practiced for the first time since suffering a broken bone in his left shoulder in the Cleveland Browns' season opener, a significant step for the quarterback whose career has been undermined by injuries and whose future remains unclear. Griffin arrived at the team's facility not knowing if he had been formally designated for return by the team. Once he received news he was going to practice, he could hardly contain himself. "I put my shoulder pads on," he said, "and went out and ran around like a little kid." … Running back Karlos Williams of the Pittsburgh Steelers was suspended for 10 games due to a violation of the NFL's substance abuse policy, the third drug suspension for the Steelers this year. Receiver Martavis Bryant was suspended for the season for his third violation of the league's drug policy, running back Le'Veon Bell for four games before having it reduced to three for his second violation.

The Seattle Seahawks will likely be without free safety Earl Thomas and cornerback DeShawn Shead, who each have a hamstring injury, for Sunday's game at Tampa Bay, Coach Pete Carroll said. … Buffalo Bills receiver Sammy Watkins made his long-awaited return to practice but his status for Sunday's game against Jacksonville remains up in the air. … Jacksonville Jaguars Coach Gus Bradley said quarterback Blake Bortles "threw pretty well" in practice despite a sore right shoulder. Bortles said that he got treatment and will "be good to go" when the Jaguars (2-8) play at Buffalo (5-5) on Sunday. …  Packers running back Eddie Lacy and cornerback Sam Shields will stay on injured reserve for the rest of the season, with Green Bay planning to activate cornerback Makinton Dorleant from injured reserve. … After missing three straight games with a hamstring injury, Falcons running back Tevin Coleman says he is "100 percent" healthy. Coleman had no restrictions in practice for Sunday's game against Arizona. He was playing behind starter Devonta Freeman before suffering the injury on Oct. 23 against San Diego. A bye week also helped cornerback Desmond Trufant return from a shoulder injury. ...

The Kansas Chiefs hope to get at least some of their injured players back for Sunday night's showdown at Denver, but as of Wednesday,the prognosis for their return was still unsure. Five starters — linebacker Dee Ford (hamstring), wide receiver Jeremy Maclin (groin), nose tackle Dontari Poe (knee), defensive end Jaye Howard (hip), and linebacker Derrick Johnson — did not practice, although Coach Andy Reid said Johnson might "be OK by game time." … New York Jets quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick has practiced fully for the first time since spraining his left knee, while center Nick Mangold sat out again with a sprained right ankle and appears unlikely to play against New England on Sunday. … Miami Dolphins defensive end Dion Jordan is practicing for the first time in nearly two years following a long suspension and knee surgery. Jordan, the No. 3 overall draft pick in 2013, joined the Dolphins' workout Wednesday in preparation for Sunday's game against the 49ers, but it's uncertain whether he'll play.