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NFL: JUL 29 Indianapolis Colts Training Camp

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INDIANAPOLIS – The chances of Anthony Richardson playing in Week Three took a major hit on Thursday.

For a second straight day, Richardson was present, but just observing practice during the open media portion.

While Richardson could technically still pass through concussion protocol by Sunday, he has now missed a massive chunk of practice, on top of a shrinking time period he has left to make it through the 5-step protocol.

It’s extremely rare for guys in concussion protocol to miss the first two days of practice in a week and still have enough time to make it through protocol, plus earn enough meaningful quarterback reps in practice.

Friday is the final practice of the week, so Richardson could be limited (non-contact) in that session, and then have a contact test on Saturday to try and be cleared.

But those situations are very rare, and that doesn’t include this instance in which you are dealing with a rookie quarterback missing the first two days of practice in a week where a stout defensive challenge awaits.

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.

Playing on Sunday in Baltimore would be a terrific opportunity for the rookie to see arguably the most complete challenge the Colts will face in 2023, especially with an exotic defense in a hostile environment.

The Colts will have their final practice of the week on Friday, so the next update on Richardson will come then.

A reminder, 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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