INDIANAPOLIS — Colts coach Chuck Pagano is working on his speech for Tuesday's practice.
After being left nearly speechless following Sunday's bizarre loss, he returned to the team complex Monday with a new message for players: Learn from your mistakes and leave the Jacksonville game in the past.
"You point out like we are doing, 'Here's what we did well, but this is what's killing us and these are the areas that we have to address and this is why,'" Pagano said. "You show them the tape. You spell it out on paper. You show him the stats. It's all situational football."
This was not just another defeat for a team that has lost 16 of its last 19 regular-season games.
It was an excruciatingly painful way to lose.
Indy (1-2) missed an opportunity to take the lead with 4:40 left when Adam Vinatieri hooked a 36-yard field goal to the left. After the defense forced a Jaguars punt, Luck had the Colts in position to take the lead again and this time Vinatieri barely slipped a 37-yard field goal inside the left upright to make it 17-16 with 56 seconds to go.
The sold out crowd at Lucas Oil Stadium was poised for a second straight victory celebration.
But on the Jags' next offensive play, Blaine Gabbert found Cecil Shorts III behind safety Sergio Brown, and Shorts turned the short pass into an 80-yard touchdown with 45 seconds to go.
"All night long, all night long in the head," Pagano said when asked how many times he'd gone back to the replay. "You watch it on tape. That's every coach that that happens to. It's like a nightmare."
Luck still had two chances to win the game in the final 15 seconds, but the first pass fell incomplete and the second was broken up in the end zone.
The emotional turnabout prompted some players, including Luck, to start pointing fingers at themselves. Pagano wants to see a different atmosphere when players return to practice.
The best thing that could have happened was giving players a rare Monday off as the Colts headed into their bye week. The extra break gives players and coaches more time to clear their heads.
The deflating loss was only part of Indy's agony.
Receiver Austin Collie was injured after making a 6-yard catch — his first reception of the season. Collie missed seven of the final eight games in 2010 after being diagnosed with two concussions and leaving the other game early with what team officials described then as "concussion-like symptoms." He sustained another concussion Aug. 19 when Pittsburgh linebacker Larry Foote hit Collie in the head. Collie first game back was Sunday.
So when the fourth-year receiver initially grabbed his helmet after going down, there was a unified gasp inside Lucas Oil Stadium — and not just among the fans.
"I know for the first couple of seconds, I thought it was his head again," Luck said. "I was very scared for him."
The team later acknowledged Collie had injured his right knee. Turns out, an MRI revealed Collie had ruptured the patellar tendon and would undergo season-ending surgery.
"You hate to see it out of anybody, on your football team or anybody else's team because they put so much time and effort into working their craft and being great pros," Pagano said. "We all know Austin's history and what he's been through and what he's dealt with as far as the concussions go, and to get himself through this last one and get back on the playing field and the first time he gets out there, he's playing well and playing fast and then to have something like that happen, you just feel awful for the kid."
Center Samson Satele left his second straight game early with an undisclosed knee injury, and cornerback Vontae Davis was still awaiting MRI results on his injured ankle Monday. Both are listed as week-to-week.
The good news is that Indy should get outside linebacker Dwight Freeney (sprained ankle) and left guard Joe Reitz (knee) back for the Oct. 7 game against Green Bay.
Note: The Colts signed rookie receiver Nathan Palmer to the active squad Monday. Palmer, an Indiana native, played college football at Northern Illinois and was on San Francisco's practice squad.