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Battered Colts declare Luck out again Sunday

(TSX / STATS) -- INDIANAPOLIS -- After getting shellacked 46-9 by the Los Angeles Rams in their 2017 regular-season opener, Indianapolis Colts head coach Chuck Pagano offered no excuses.

Nor could he offer reason for hope in the near future, which will not include quarterback Andrew Luck in the lineup as he continues to recover from shoulder surgery. On Monday, Luck was already ruled out of next Sunday's game against the visiting Arizona Cardinals.

As for the rest of the team:

"Obviously we were dominated (by Los Angeles) in all three phases," Pagano said. "Out-coached in this football game. It's my responsibility and it falls on me. It all starts with me and I didn't do a good enough of a job getting this team ready to go.

"Having said that, four turnovers, two pick-sixes, a sack for a safety, another fumble on a third down. Put it on the ground. Penalties were a non-issue. But giving up big plays on defense in the pass game, never getting into a rhythm, pass protection, lack of pressure. You name it. We got our asses kicked."

With the Cardinals coming to Lucas Oil Stadium Sunday, the Colts don't have a lot of time to make a bunch of quick fixes. But there's a very real possibility that Pagano's crew could get off to a third straight 0-2 record unless things get cleaned up.

"One game does not define our season, unless we allow it. We've got a lot of work to do. We all got a lot of work to do and that's what we'll do. We'll go back and figure out some things that we can do," the Indianapolis head coach said.

Could a quarterback change be at the top of Pagano's to-do list this week in practice? Starter Scott Tolzien, filling in for Luck, served up a pair of pick-sixes and very nearly had a third. Then he gave the ball to Jacoby Brissett on Pagano's orders. Brissett is another Colts quarterback, formerly of New England, who joined the team in a trade last week.

Brissett led the Colts to their only touchdown.

As for a change behind center, Pagano is taking a wait-and-see stance.

"We've got to look at everything," he stressed. (The Rams) did a great job in coverage. They did a great job up front. We had some positive plays in the run game. But again, too many third-and-longs. We had some opportunities and some third-and-shorts and didn't make good.

"We've got to make better decisions. We got to make better decisions with the football. It's a combination of everything when you don't have success like that as far as protection and decision making with the quarterback spot. So we'll take a look at it. And we've got to move on."

What about elsewhere in the Colts' offensive or defensive lineup?

"There is going to be some changes. I won't go into detail. Again, you look at all the tape, evaluate it and make the necessary changes," Pagano said.

--Indianapolis was outscored 84-17 in its last two meetings with the Rams (38-8, 2013; 46-9, 2017).

--The Colts have lost games by 35 points or more five times during Chuck Pagano's tenure as head coach.

--The most points allowed on opening day occurred twice against the Rams (48, 1954; 46. 2017) and once against Pittsburgh (45, 1995)

--"It's obviously tough. But that's part of the game, and we have to bounce back from it and move onto the next play. It really, you know, you just look back at the game. Two pick-sixes, you're not going to win many games in the NFL doing that. It's a team effort, but I certainly want to own this one and put it on me. You always feel guilty when you let your team down, and we've got a lot to improve on. Starting with me." -- Colts quarterback Scott Tolzien on his rough day against Los Angeles.

NOTES: QB Andrew Luck has already been ruled out of Sunday's home opener with Arizona. Luck made the trip to Los Angeles with the team this past weekend, but did not dress for the game. There is still no official timetable when he will be ready to return to the starting lineup. ... QB Scott Tolzien's role as the starter remains undecided as the Colts begin preparations for Sunday's game with the Cardinals. "We have to do what's best for this football team and (give the team the) best chance to move the ball and put points on the board," head coach Chuck Pagano said. ... QB Jacoby Brissett remains in the hunt to replace Scott Tolzien as the Indianapolis starter. But one of the things delaying a decision on a possible change is Brissett's lack of experience with the team's offensive playbook. He was traded to the team last week after beginning his NFL career with New England. ... CB Vontae Davis remains week-to-week as he recovers from a groin injury that was suffered in the third preseason game. Davis is not expected to be ready in time to play against the Cardinals this week. ... C Ryan Kelly is making good progress after undergoing foot surgery last month, but is still listed as week-to-week. Kelly was hurt during the Colts' joint practice with Detroit prior to both teams' first preseason game. He has not practiced since undergoing the medical procedure. ... CB T.J. Green got the start against Los Angeles in the season opener. Green, who came into the league as a safety and made the transition to cornerback during training camp, continues to struggle with consistency. "About what we expected," head coach Chuck Pagano said. "There were some speed bumps." ... Rookie ILB Anthony Walker is expected to be sidelined against Arizona after suffering a hamstring injury in the season-opening loss to the Rams. Walker had impressed during training camp and the preseason. He was making a strong push to see more playing time defensively. ... Rookie RB Marlon Mack continues to get attention as the third back in the Colts' offensive backfield rotation. Mack has been playing behind starter Frank Gore and veteran Robert Turbin. He very nearly scored his first NFL touchdown against Los Angeles in the first quarter before being officially pushed out at the 1-yard line. Replays later showed that Mack had scored, but the Colts failed to challenge the play. His 24-yard run against the Rams was the longest run from scrimmage for an Indianapolis running back since December 2015. Mack later got his first professional TD with a 3-yard run in the fourth quarter.

Updated September 11, 2017

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