INDIANAPOLIS – For a third time this season, an injury to Anthony Richardson is going to cause the rookie QB to miss time.
And this one, unlike the previous injuries, could be longer than just a week.
Shane Steichen confirmed on Monday that an AC sprain in Richardson’s right (throwing) shoulder means the rookie QB will “miss some time,” and at least this Sunday’s meeting against the Jaguars.
“It’s tough,” Steichen said when asked to share his feelings on Richardson missing more time.
“When a guy has been dinged up like he’s been dinged up, he’s obviously a very, very talented player and it’s tough. But we have a lot of faith in Gardner (Minshew) to go in and operate like he’s been doing.”
The Colts are still gathering information on Richardson’s injury, plus the best plan for his rehab. Surgery for Richardson has not yet been ruled out. A trip to injured reserve, which would mean Richardson misses at least 4 games, has also not been ruled out.
Various national reports have Richardson as being sidelined in the month-to-month-plus range.
The most important aspect of the Colts 2023 season could be looking at receiving quite the blow depending on the absence.
This news means Richardson will have missed 13 of the 24 quarters he’s been eligible to play, and 6 of the 18 eligible practices in his rookie campaign.
If Richardson is going to miss the reported time, it’s such unfortunate news for his vital development.
The next month-plus for the Colts looks like this: at Jaguars, Browns, Saints, at Panthers, Patriots (November 12th in Germany), Bye week.
A sidelined Richardson for this stretch, or a big chunk of it would limit his rookie season to just over half of the team’s games played, and that’s assuming the rookie were to stay healthy the rest of the year (7 games remain after the team’s bye week).
It is the last part of that statement which is the biggest issue at play here.
Questions about Richardson staying healthy can’t be ignored.
Sunday’s shoulder injury marks the 4th different body part Richardson has hurt in his 4 NFL games played.
All of these hits have occurred on running plays (3 of the 4 on designed runs), outside of the pocket, with injuries to his knee, ankle, a concussion and now a throwing shoulder injury.
And the hits themselves have not in the malicious nature, something Steichen acknowledged on Monday, too.
For those curious about a potential change in play-calling approach with Richardson’s playing style upon the rookie QB returning to action, Steichen said that is a bridge the Colts will cross once No. 5 is ready to return to action.
It is fair to worry about how long of a window Richardson can offer the Colts.
While that might seem like too much of a big picture thought just a month into his NFL career, it would be naïve to not at least acknowledgement the thought.
In the short term, it’s such a disappointment to have Richardson sidelined again.
Missing more than a month would put Richardson at playing in just 20 percent of the possible action when the Colts return from their bye week in late November.
Given the fact that Richardson entered the NFL with just 13 games of college experience, it was difficult to gauge how his body would hold up at this level, especially when factoring in his dual-threat playing style.
Steichen said that part of the Richardson draft evaluation was not something the Colts discussed during the draft process.
“We just saw what (Richardson) was able to do,” Steichen said. “His talent and his body size and what he could do. We loved everything about him, so we were taking him.”
Gardner Minshew will be starting on Sunday, in a big-time divisional matchup in Jacksonville.
This will mark the second major road contest Richardson will have missed this year, along with Baltimore in Week 3.
We will continue to update the Richardson story as the week unfolds.
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