With Andrew Luck’s recovery from offseason shoulder surgery chugging along behind schedule and his Week 1 status growing increasingly uncertain, Scott
Tolzien had his chance in an Aug. 26 matchup with the Pittsburgh Steelers to rid himself of the sour taste that lingered from the first two weeks of the preseason.
Tolzien was on pace to enter the regular season, where the prospect of replacing Luck against the Los Angeles Rams might loom, without having ever marshaled the starting offense into the end zone. Instead, he turned in his most impressive performance of the exhibition season, completing seven of 10 passes for 123 yards and playing with a confidence not seen from him in either of the previous two games.
It might have been just enough to put to rest any potential debate about who the starting quarterback should be if Luck is not ready to start.
QB Stephen Morris also consistently moved the offense and completed 12 of 16 passes for 143 yards and no interceptions, making clutch throws in the face of a significant pass rush.
“We’re moving forward with
the guys we have and the guys who are practicing,” coach Chuck
Pagano said Aug. 28, stopping short of declaring an official sub for Luck.
Rookie watch: First-round S Malik Hooker and secondround CB Quincy Wilson sat out with minor injuries but were expected to be ready for the opener. … RB Marlon Mack rushed for 18 yards on seven carries and had a 17-yard reception. It wasn’t nearly as electric as his preseason debut, but Mack could push for work behind Frank Gore. Mack is competing with veteran RB Robert Turbin for the role.
Noteworthy: Gore rushed for 23 yards on five carries, including a 1-yard touchdown run, while Josh Ferguson rushed for 23 yards on 11 carries. … CB Von
tae Davis left the game with a groin injury.