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Winless Colts aim to rebound vs. Chargers

Quarterback Andrew Luck is sore and beat up and the Indianapolis Colts are winless.

There won't be any sympathy forthcoming from the San Diego Chargers.

Luck and the Colts attempt to begin digging themselves out of a 0-2 hole when they host the San Diego Chargers on Sunday.

Indianapolis is winless after two games for the third straight season. The Colts recovered to reach the AFC Championship Game two seasons ago but ended up 8-8 last year.

"You can control what you can control," Indianapolis coach Chuck Pagano said. "If a couple plays go a little bit different in each of those games, you are sitting at 2-0. But that is not the case. That has never been the case. It is what it is."

Last season's struggles were partially due to Luck missing nine games with various injuries. The 27-year-old is aching again and missed Wednesday's practice with soreness in his passing shoulder stemming from being sacked five times in last Sunday's 34-20 loss to the Denver Broncos.

Luck, who has thrown five touchdown passes this season, insisted he'll be on the field when the Colts face the Chargers and said there is no cause for alarm.

"I don't think so, but I don't raise the alarms," Luck said. "That's you guys. I would not be concerned."

Meanwhile, quarterback Philip Rivers of the Chargers (1-1) keeps losing key weapons from an offense averaging 32.5 points, second best in the NFL. Star receiver Keenan Allen was lost to a torn ACL in Week 1 and running back Danny Woodhead went down with the same type of season-ending knee injury last Sunday.

Despite the attrition, Rivers has thrown five touchdown passes without an interception and has a stellar 120.3 quarterback rating. Rivers had four passing scores in last Sunday's 38-14 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Rivers has a 5-1 career record against the Colts, who have allowed a league-worst 73 points through the first two weeks.

"We have had some memorable, fun games against Indy," Rivers said. "But I don't think any of those factor in this week.

"We know that we are going to face a team that has a lot of passion and pride and that's going to fight like crazy to get its first win."

San Diego may choose to rely more on second-year running back Melvin Gordon against a Colts' defense ranked 29th against the run (125.0 yards per game). Gordon rushed for 102 yards vs. the Jaguars for the first 100-yard game of his NFL career.

"He's running with authority," Pagano said. "He's big, powerful and he looks like he's a one-cut guy who can make people miss. He gets in the secondary and he has the speed to go the distance."

San Diego's defense is about to receive a boost due to the likely availability of first-round draft pick Joey Bosa. The No. 3 overall pick was a holdout until late August and then injured a hamstring and could make his NFL debut against the Colts.

"I'll let you guys know when we have an update on whether he's going to cut it loose or not," Chargers coach Mike McCoy said. "But I'll keep saying he's day-to-day until we know he can truly go full-go."

Adding Bosa's pass-rushing abilities to team with linebacker Melvin Ingram (two sacks last week) should aid a defense ranking 23rd in total defense (400.5) and 29th in defending the pass (324.0). Cornerback Casey Hayward had two interceptions last week but the secondary has been a weak link.

Indianapolis' beleaguered defense hopes to have Pro Bowl cornerback Vontae Davis (ankle) on the field for the first time this season.

The Colts have been decimated with injuries in the secondary and the list of ailing players include cornerbacks Darius Butler (hamstring), Antonio Cromartie (ribs) and Patrick Robinson (concussion) plus safeties Clayton Geathers (foot) and T.J. Green (knee).

Indianapolis also suffered a key offensive loss on Wednesday when it was announced receiver Donte Moncrief will miss four-to-six weeks with a fractured left shoulder blade.

The Chargers have won four of the past five meetings, including a 19-9 victory in 2013 when they controlled the ball for 38:31 and held Luck and the Colts out of the end zone.

San Diego defensive coordinator John Pagano is the younger brother of the Colts' head coach.
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