Anthony Richardson, the promising rookie quarterback for the Indianapolis Colts, has made a tough decision to undergo season-ending surgery on his injured throwing shoulder, marking the conclusion of his rookie season. The announcement was made by Coach Shane Steichen, who emphasized the importance of Richardson’s long-term health and future with the franchise in arriving at this decision.
Steichen revealed that the team consulted multiple medical experts before unanimously agreeing that surgery was the best course of action. However, no specific date for the surgery was provided.
“When he played, he was explosive and electric,” Steichen praised Richardson. “He gives us an opportunity every time he steps on the field – his big-play ability, throwing the ball downfield, the touchdown runs. There is tremendous opportunity going forward.”
Nonetheless, Richardson’s dynamic style of play also made him susceptible to injuries. The 6-foot-4, 244-pound quarterback sustained a sprained AC joint in his right shoulder during a run on October 8 against Tennessee. The incident left him on the ground for several minutes, and he was subsequently placed on injured reserve last week as discussions continued regarding his treatment.
QB Anthony Richardson will undergo season-ending shoulder surgery. pic.twitter.com/iYZbTyXOkw— Indianapolis Colts (@Colts) October 18, 2023
Richardson’s rookie season was marked by setbacks. He missed a portion of the season opener due to a bruised knee and sore ankle and was sidelined for six quarters following a concussion during a Week 2 game in Houston. He managed to complete only one of his four starts, leaving room for veteran Gardner Minshew to step in on three occasions. Minshew, who will now make his third start for the Colts, is determined to bounce back after a challenging performance in a recent loss to Jacksonville.
Steichen acknowledges that Minshew’s presence will necessitate adjustments to the game plan, but he remains confident in Minshew’s abilities. The coach and quarterback worked together in Philadelphia over the past two seasons.
Jonathan Taylor, the 2021 NFL rushing champion, was originally expected to pair up with Richardson in the backfield. However, Taylor’s recovery from offseason ankle surgery led to limited playing time together, with just one snap shared before Richardson’s injury.
As the Colts adjust to the change in quarterback, the bigger question looming is how Richardson’s absence will impact his progression. The rookie quarterback had limited college experience, with only 13 starts for the Florida Gators, and was initially considered a developmental project. The team’s aim was to provide Richardson with as many snaps as possible during this season.
Richardson’s early promise was evident with 577 passing yards, three touchdowns, and one interception, along with 136 rushing yards and four rushing touchdowns in his brief playing time. He became the first quarterback of the Super Bowl era to score rushing touchdowns in each of his first three NFL games.
Now, Richardson will focus on recovery, learning, and supporting his teammates from the sidelines. Coach Steichen expressed confidence that Richardson’s engagement with the team will continue as he rehabs from surgery.
“Tremendous competitor, great player, but longevity in him needs to be at a premium,” Steichen remarked. “Moving forward, he’ll be engaged, he’ll be in the meetings, he’ll be there at practice, and he’ll learn from this year, sitting back and watching it, learning it.”
Colts fans and the football community will eagerly await Richardson’s return to the field in the future, hopeful that this setback will only strengthen his determination and resilience.