Heading into their 2015 Week 5 divisional matchup against the Houston Texans, the Indianapolis Colts desperately needed a win.
They had sputtered to a 2-2 start and needed overtime to beat the lowly Jaguars.
A win against the Texans would go a long way toward righting the ship. Just one problem—their best player, quarterback Andrew Luck, was out with a shoulder injury.
His replacement? A 40-year-old Matt Hasselbeck, who was so sick with a bacterial infection, he had been hospitalized for a night just 48 hours before game day.
Hasselbeck had been experiencing symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea and extreme fatigue all week.
"Lots of stuff coming out of the attic, then a lot of stuff coming out the basement," was how Hasselbeck described his symptoms to reporters.
He wasn't able to suit up for a single practice. At team meetings the night before the game, he felt so ill he couldn't even speak. Colts kicker Adam Vinatieri told The Indianapolis Star that Hasselbeck "looked like warmed-over death."
Despite his extreme illness, Hasselbeck was under center when the game started.
He miraculously completed 18 of 29 passes for 213 yards and 2 touchdowns, leading the Colts to an improbable 27-20 victory.
After the game, even Hasselbeck couldn't believe he performed so well given the circumstances. "I really had nothing this morning," he said. "I honestly feel like this isn't even real now."