INDIANAPOLIS – It’s official, Anthony Richardson will miss his first NFL game on Sunday afternoon.
Richardson did not progress through the concussion protocol this week, missing all three practices.
Gardner Minshew will get his 25th career start on Sunday, and first with the Colts. Along with Richardson being out, Ryan Kelly (concussion protocol) also is going to miss on Sunday, elevating Wesley French to making his first career NFL start, as the veteran center also didn’t practice any of the three days this week.
Back in 2020, Minshew started against the Ravens (with the Jaguars). He was 22-of-29 (75.8 percent) for 226 yards and 2 touchdowns, but the Jaguars lost 40-14 with Minshew getting sacked 5 times.
In other Colts injury news, both LG-Quenton Nelson (toe) and CB-Kenny Moore (knee) returned to practice on Friday, so that’s good signs in both of these key veterans playing on Sunday. The plan is for both to play in Baltimore.
For Richardson though, this is certainly a bummer to miss any playing time, let alone against an opponent that offers a stiff defensive challenge, along with a hostile road environment.
The rookie quarterback suffered a concussion in the first half of the Colts Week Two game with the Texans. The Colts later ruled Richardson out for the rest of the game 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 before leaving the game for good 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.
This was 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 a concussion in Week 2, leading to him missing in Week 3. 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.
Richardson’s practice watch will now continue into Week 4, when the Colts return home next week to take on the Rams. Shane Steichen wouldn’t comment on Friday if Richardson will return to action next week. Richardson was present out at practice for all 3 days this week.
As a reminder, here is 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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