INDIANAPOLIS – The Anthony Richardson developmental period was halted on Sunday afternoon in Houston.
For how long though remains to be seen as Richardson suffered a concussion in the first half of the Colts Week Two game with the Texans. The Colts later ruled Richardson out for the game before halftime arrived.
Richardson’s head snapped back against the turf in Houston on a touchdown run by the rookie during the second series of the game.
He stayed in the game for two more series (going 1-of-4 and not running the ball) before leaving the game early in the second quarter. Richardson was evaluated by the Colts medical staff in the blue tent on the sideline, before heading into the locker room, where it was determined his day was over.
Following the Colts first win of the season, Jim Irsay said Anthony Richardson was feeling “fine” after the Owner spoke to the rookie quarterback.
“He was clear and feeling a lot better,” Irsay said of his post-game interaction with Richardson interaction.
Irsay added this about Richardson and his injury situation:
“You’re always concerned,” the Owner said to WISH-TV after Sunday’s win. “The first game, he banged up the knee, but it was ok, just a contusion. This game, a bang to the head. I think it’s something where, he’s got to protect himself. He’s a big physical guy, obviously he can run the football and guys do a lot of running now at that position. I think self-protection is an issue, that (Steichen) talks to him about all the time. I’m not real concerned in the sense that he’s cleared really well mentally and talking with him, he feels good. But you want to see him stay healthy. Peyton (Manning) didn’t get hurt in his first year as a rookie at all. Played and practiced in every game but he didn’t run the ball like Anthony does so. But that’s why we picked such a young, big physical guy, because they do take a pounding. But still, you got to have self-protection out there”
Irsay, and Shane Steichen, both said they believe the concussion occurred on Richardson’s 15-yard touchdown run with 9:13 to go in Sunday’s opening quarter. Richardson didn’t initially show or report concussion-like symptoms though, so the rookie played the rest of that first period, before leaving for good.
This is the second reported concussion of Richardson’s college/pro career. He also had one during the 2021 season at Florida.
The debate over Richardson’s playing style leading to more hits, and potentially more injuries is certainly a fair one to discuss.
In just 5 quarters of his NFL career, Richardson had now been injured 3 different times, suffering a knee bruise and ankle pain in Week 1, and now a concussion in Week 2. All 3 of these injuries occurred on runs by him outside of the pocket.
This is why Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence had a very specific message for Richardson after the Week 1 opener.
When could Richardson return to the lineup is now the storyline exiting Week 2.
Any missed time for Richardson is a bummer considering how valuable any and all of these NFL reps are for his development.
Here’s the 5-step process a player needs to clear before making it through concussion protocol (from the NFL)
1. SYMPTOM LIMITED ACTIVITY: The player is prescribed rest, limiting or, if necessary, avoiding activities (both physical and cognitive) which increase or aggravate symptoms. Under athletic training staff supervision, limited stretching and balance training can be introduced, progressing to light aerobic exercise, all as tolerated.
2. AEROBIC EXERCISE: Under direct oversight of the team’s medical staff, the player should begin graduated cardiovascular exercise and may also engage in dynamic stretching and balance training. Neurocognitive and balance testing can be administered after completion of Phase Two and the results should be interpreted as back to baseline
3. FOOTBALL-SPECIFIC EXERCISE The player continues with supervised cardiovascular exercises that are increased and may mimic sport-specific activities, and supervised strength training is introduced. The player is allowed to practice with the team in sport-specific exercise for 30 minutes or less with ongoing and careful monitoring.
4. CLUB-BASED NON-CONTACT TRAINING DRILLS: The player continues cardiovascular, strength and balance training, team-based sports-specific exercise, and participates in non-contact football activities (e.g. throwing, catching, running, and other position-specific activities). Neurocognitive and balance testing should be completed no later than the end of Phase Four with the results interpreted as back to baseline.
5. FULL FOOTBALL ACTIVITY / CLEARANCE: Upon clearance by the Club physician for full football activity involving contact, the player must be examined by the Independent Neurological Consultant (INC) assigned to his Club. If the INC concurs with the Club physician that the player’s concussion has resolved, he may participate in his Club’s next practice or game.
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