The Herald Bulletin

Afternoon Update


November 14, 2012

Quarterback health a hot topic in NFL this week

Four starters lost to injury in Week 10

INDIANAPOLIS — Andrew Luck’s remarkable rookie season wouldn’t be quite as much fun without a certain element of risk.

Though the Indianapolis Colts quarterback doesn’t present the same level of rushing threat as a Robert Griffin III or Cam Newton, he has already run for a franchise quarterback-record five touchdowns and gained 159 yards on 34 carries, an average of 4.7 yards per attempt.

Of course, all that running opens Luck up to more contact.

And more hits could lead to the sort of playoff chase-stifling results suffered by four teams last weekend.

The Chicago Bears, Pittsburgh Steelers, San Francisco 49ers and Philadelphia Eagles each lost starting quarterbacks to injury in Week 10.

Chicago’s Jay Cutler, San Francisco’s Alex Smith and Philadelphia’s Michael Vick suffered concussions Sunday that will sideline them indefinitely. The Bears and Eagles lost while the Niners struggled to a tie at home against the St. Louis Rams.

Pittsburgh’s Ben Roethlisberger left Monday night’s slim victory against the Kansas City Chiefs with what was first described as a shoulder injury. On Wednesday, several national media outlets reported Roethlisberger also has a rib injury that could threaten his life if he returns to action before he heals. A broken rib is said to be pressing against Roethlisberger’s aorta, a rare injury reportedly last detected in a hockey player in 1998.

So will all that carnage change the way Luck plays the game?

“I think that is the nature of the game,” the 6-foot-4, 234-pounder said of the rash of recent QB injuries. “I don’t think anybody can play up to their potential if they’re worried about getting injured.”

That can safely be taken as a, “No.”

But there’s a fine line quarterbacks must walk.

Coaches want players to be aggressive and use any talent at their disposal to make a play and keep the chains moving. At the same time, discretion often is called for.

“You can’t play scared,” Colts interim head coach/offensive coordinator Bruce Arians said. “You just have to play smart.”

If Cutler had slid instead of trying to pull up and throw a pass in front of Houston linebacker Tim Dobbins, for instance, the Bears’ immediate playoff fortunes might not be in the hands of Jason Campbell. Likewise, Pittsburgh and San Francisco could be continuing their playoff chases this week behind Byron Leftwich and Colin Kaepernick, respectively.

Philadelphia is on the outside looking in but could be forced to try to get back into the race behind rookie Nick Foles.

It’s a dilemma Colts backup Drew Stanton faced during his four years with the Detroit Lions.

Stanton appeared in 13 games with four starts, compiling a 2-2 record in the Motor City while throwing for 1,158 yards with five touchdowns and nine interceptions.

“I think it’s just a weekly preparation thing, where you’re prepared to play,” Stanton said. “More times than not, you’re not going to get the chance to go out there. But you don’t want there to be a dropoff.”

Stanton said it’s important for backups to listen carefully to every word the offensive coordinator says during practice and to prepare mentally each week as though he’ll be the starter. Once the game starts, Stanton watches the action with the same eye he would if he was on the field. That allows him to spot adjustments by the opposing defense or suggest changes to Luck immediately on the sideline.

“You saw some guys come in this past weekend and have success,” Stanton said. “You saw other guys come in and struggle and lose games for their teams. So you definitely don’t want to be in the latter position, where you cost your team a victory, especially later on in the season where everybody’s vying for playoff spots.”

The balance is especially important in today’s NFL, where 15 of the 32 teams — including the Colts — carry just two quarterbacks on the active roster. If the starter goes down and his backup follows, well ...

“You could really find yourself in hard times, unless you’re like a Buffalo that could have (former college quarterback and current wide receiver) Brad Smith get in there and do some stuff,” Stanton said. “But, other than that, it’s something that I’m sure no NFL team wants to find out.”

Text Only
  • Pendleton Heights, Frankton to meet for net title

    Pendleton Heights and Frankton advanced to today's Madison County Championship title match after posting very different victories. The Lady Arabian tennis team advanced after defeating the Alexandria Tigers 4-1. For Frankton, it came down to a No. 1 singles tie-breaker to put away Lapel.

    April 18, 2014

  • SPT - HB0418 - PHHS vs Alex - 017 Arabians hold off Alex to reach semifinals Good teams don't need much help. That didn't stop Pendleton Heights from accepting a little aid from Alexandria in the second round of the Nick Muller Memorial Baseball Tournament on Thursday.

    April 17, 2014 3 Photos

  • Panthers claw way into softball semis If only Elwood's Jessie Noone had missed the team bus, Thursday's game in the Madison County Softball Tournament would have been more competitive.

    April 17, 2014

  • Ravens drove Manchester to avoid sweep NORTH MANCHESTER — The Anderson University baseball team defeated Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference leader Manchester University 9-5 on Wednesday at Gratz Field. Andrew Eiler led the Raven offense with three hits, three runs and an RBI, including one of four home runs the visitors hit.

    April 17, 2014

  • Elwood, Liberty Christian advance in county softball tournament The 2014 Madison County Softball tournament got off to a wild start at Liberty Christian on Wednesday night as Elwood and the host Liberty Christian Lions advanced with victories.

    April 17, 2014

  • SPT - HB0417 - Nick Muller - 05 Bulldogs, Indians impress in openers Lapel and Anderson have very different histories in the Nick Muller Memorial Baseball Tournament.

    April 16, 2014 5 Photos

  • SPT - HB0417 - Pendleton v Mad Grant 2 Eagles, Arabians move to second round Frankton got off to an uneven start, falling behind 4-3 and 6-4, but rallied for a 14-6 triumph over Alexandria in the first round of the Madison County Softball Tournament here Wednesday. In the second contest, Pendleton Heights topped Madison-Grant 2-1 in a game where both runs and hits were at a premium.

    April 16, 2014 3 Photos

  • Rick Bramwell: Improving weather should aid morels When I looked at my wilted daffodils Tuesday morning, I knew this would be a setback for morels. The long-range forecast through April 29 calls for near normal temperatures and above normal precipitation. This is good news for the blacks and grays.

    April 16, 2014

  • SPL - PT041014 - Ken de la Bastide column - Ken sig Ken de la Bastide: Hunter-Reay's blunder proves costly A lack of patience cost Ryan Hunter-Reay and teammate James Hinchcliffe a chance at victory last weekend in the Verizon IndyCar Series race at Long Beach.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPT - HB0416 - tennis file - 14 Many girls tennis teams return top talent With spring sports getting off to a good start thanks to some spring-like weather last week, local girls tennis teams are taking to the court.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo