For the first time in his rookie season, Andrew Luck will be playing without Bruce Arians today.
Arians, the offensive coordinator who served as the Indianapolis Colts’ inteim coach while Chuck Pagano was undergoing treatment for leukemia, has been hospitalized in Baltimore and will not work the team’s wild-card game today against the Ravens.
Arians, according to Bob Kravitz of the Indianapolis Star, had missed practice Thursday with flu-like symptoms but recovered sufficiently to travel to Baltimore. His illness is not believed to be serious and the Colts said Arians is “doing fine.” However, CBS reports that he became ill during breakfast with the team and was taken to the hospital by ambulance.
Assistant coach Clyde Christensen, who has worked closely with Luck all season, will fill in for Arians and call plays, but it’s another unexpected twist in a Colts season filled with them. And it places more pressure on Luck, playing in his first NFL playoff game in a game that will be Ray Lewis’s last in Baltimore. At least there’s the reassuring presence of Pagano, who is back and coaching against his former team, the Ravens.