INDIANAPOLIS -- The Indianapolis Colts say they knew all along that there was a possibility that starting quarterback Andrew Luck could miss some time in the regular season. But the Colts still resisted the temptation of adding another veteran player to push backup QB Scott Tolzien in the offseason.
That changed just eight days before the start of the regular season. After watching an inconsistent Tolzien perform during the preseason, the Colts acquired quarterback Jacoby Brissett from the New England Patriots on Sunday afternoon. Colts owner Jim Irsay said last month that they talked to an unknown quarterback during the offseason but decided against signing him because his price tag was too high.
One of the immediate questions after the trade wasn't about Tolzien and Brissett, but rather if the move meant Luck could remain on PUP after all, which meant he would have to miss the first six games of the regular season.
The Colts answered it when they elevated Luck to the active roster from PUP later Saturday afternoon. When it comes down to it, the addition of Brissett is for the present and the future.
Luck is on the active roster, but it’s unknown when he’ll play in the regular season. He hasn't played or practiced since Week 17 of last season. It’s going to take time for Luck to regain his form.
Brissett, depending on how quickly he picks up offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski’s offense, should push Tolzien and Stephen Morris for snaps until Luck returns. Tolzien has been working with the starters, but he had a sporadic training camp and preseason in leading the Colts to only 13 points in four preseason games. The Colts wouldn’t have played Tolzien in the fourth preseason game -- which is often for players trying to make a last impression for a roster spot -- if they believed he was completely ready for the regular season. He needed as many snaps as possible. Morris was consistent throughout the preseason, throwing for 399 yards and completing nearly 68 percent of his pass attempts.
Brissett has some starting experience despite being third on the depth chart behind Tom Brady and Jimmy Garoppolo in New England. Brissett started two games for the Patriots last season after Garoppolo was injured and Brady was serving his four-game suspension. Brissett was 34-of-55 for 400 yards with no touchdowns, and he was sacked six times while going 1-1 as a starter last season. Brissett started and played the entire game in the Patriots’ final preseason game on Thursday. He finished 28-of-39 for 341 yards and four touchdowns.
The Colts can evaluate the 24-year-old Brissett, who has three years remaining on his contract, to see if he's their long-term answer as a backup to Luck after having Matt Hasselbeck and Tolzien, who is in the final year of his contract, for the past four seasons.