Matt Hasselbeck has Texans' respect

Matt Hasselbeck didn't practice on Wednesday. On Thursday though, he worked with the team as a limited participant.

The Colts said Wednesday that Andrew Luck won't be under center Sunday afternoon, so Hasselbeck is likely the starter against the Texans this weekend.

Houston's been mightily impressed by what he's accomplished in 2015. After all, he guided Indianapolis to a win at NRG Stadium in Week 5.

"I think he has done a great job, obviously, playing for that team and doing well replacing Luck,"

defensive end J.J. Watt said. "So you have to give a lot of credit to what he has been able to do this year."

Hasselbeck, a 17-year veteran and 3-time Pro Bowler, has completed 62.1 percent of his passes for 1,444 yards in six starts. He's battling through back and rib injuries after getting roughed up last Sunday in Jacksonville. But the last time he faced the Texans, he faced adverse health circumstances as well.

"Getting ready on a short week and being sick and all that stuff the first time that we played, he went out there and did a nice job and managed the game well," Colts head coach Chuck Pagano said. "We need him to play at that level that he played in the first outing come Sunday at one o'clock (ET) in order to give us a chance to compete in this game."

At 40 years of age, Hasselbeck is one of three members from the 1998 Draft class still in the NFL. The other two? Peyton Manning and Charles Woodson.

"I mean that says a lot, that says a lot," head coach Bill O'Brien said. "When you think about that, and to be able to last this long at that position in this league says a lot about you. You're tough, you're smart, you're productive, you're a great teammate."

While O'Brien is 46 years old, Watt is 20 years younger than his head coach and 14 years younger than Hasselbeck. But the 2-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year spoke of his admiration for Hasselbeck's longevity and excellence in the League.

"It is very difficult to do, I know that," Watt said. "I am 26 and it is difficult to do. I can't imagine what it is like playing at that age."

The Texans will practice Friday morning at the Houston Methodist Training Center. On Saturday they'll fly to Indianapolis.


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