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Could the Colts be taking a longer-term view?

Perhaps. Team vice chairman Bill Polian spent Saturday watching the Stanford-Duke game, where he got a chance to scout quarterback Andrew Luck and mingle with his son, Brian, a Stanford assistant, near the family’s North Carolina home.

Team owner Jim Irsay also used Twitter to deliver a cryptic message Monday.

“There will b some shocking,dramatic,inspiring,unimaginable things happening n Coltsland the next 18 months…buckle up,stay faithful,BELIEVE,” he wrote, without elaborating on the comment.

Of course, the Colts have other issues, too.

One year after Houston’s Arian Foster burned the Colts for 231 yards in a season-opening 34-24 victory that wasn’t even that close, the Texans ran for 167 yards and held the ball for nearly 37 minutes on Sunday — without Foster. Houston’s Danieal Manning returned the opening kickoff 46 yards, and Jacoby Jones took a punt back 79 yards for TD in the final minute of the first half.

The dismal performance prompted questions about how motivated the Colts actually were, something Caldwell dismissed.

“We’ve never had an effort (issue). Never around here, and we never will,” he said.

The bad news doesn’t end with the loss.

Brackett, the defensive captain, could join Manning, the offensive captain, on the sideline this week. Brackett injured his left shoulder on an interception return late in the fourth quarter and did not return. Free-agent acquisition Ernie Sims, a backup at outside linebacker, sprained his left knee and did not return.

Caldwell did not provide updates on either of the injuries Monday, with Cleveland coming to town on Sunday.

During last year’s opening loss to Houston, Manning called his teammates into a fourth-quarter huddle on the sideline. The Colts responded by winning their seventh AFC South title in eight years.

On Sunday, five-time Pro Bowl receiver Reggie Wayne called his teammates into another sideline huddle late in the game.

Only this time, they’ll have to rebound without the Manning magic.

“Obviously, he’s not here. But to be truthful, I don’t think if Peyton was back there it would have been much better yesterday,” Saturday said. “We didn’t play well and we weren’t efficient in our offense. We just didn’t produce the way we need to, and we didn’t get it done.”