That includes a Week 8 matchup with the Indianapolis Colts, a game Cincinnati badly needs to win in order to have any hope of making the playoffs. That game suddenly becomes one of the 2-3 most winnable games left on the schedule if Andrew Luck isn’t part of the equation, something that appears very likely at this moment.
Luck, who has yet to suit up this season for the Colts, was expected to practice this week with hopes of returning in the next 1-2 games. However, Luck has suffered a setback that will keep him out for at least one more week, according to CBS 4 Indy.
The report adds that doctors gave Luck a cortisone shot to help with soreness on his surgically-repaired shoulder, and he will not even throw for the time being.
It’s to the point where the Bengals are all but assured of not seeing ‘the’ Andrew Luck in Week 8. Now, it’s still possible we see Luck practice and return to action next week, but even so, I seriously doubt a guy coming off such a long layoff from shoulder surgery will be anything close to the level of player he usually is.
Heck, if Luck is able to play next week, it’s possible Jacoby Brissett is still the better option, simply because he’s actually played in games and practiced with his teammates for the past month. Luck wouldn’t be close to being the elite quarterback he’s been for most of his career, making this game even more winnable for the Bengals.
This injury also will likely keep the Colts from making a real push for the playoffs. The Bengals have their work cut out for them winning the AFC North, but scoring a Wild Card spot looks more realistic if the Colts don’t have Luck for most, if not the rest of the season.
Make no mistake about it: At 2-3, the Bengals need some breaks to go there way to get back in the playoff hunt. It looks like they’ll get one here.