You could feel the energy in Lucas Oil Stadium as the Indianapolis Colts faced off against the Tennessee Titans on Sunday. Anthony Richardson was humming along with an efficient 9/12 through the air when he took off on a designated run that ended with him sandwiched between two Titan defenders and the ground. As Richardson remained on the turf and patted his right shoulder, it was easy to see he was in a lot of pain. He walked back to the locker room, and while nothing has been confirmed, the fear is that the quarterback will miss significant time.
Sources: #Colts starting QB Anthony Richardson received an initial diagnosis of a Grade 3 AC joint sprain, which would mean he’d miss a month or more. He has an MRI this morning to confirm.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) October 9, 2023
Either way, it’s likely Gardner Minshew next week and moving forward. pic.twitter.com/27Z04eGlJL
While the injury could have been worse, being out for potentially 4-6 weeks is concerning. Not only does he need reps and experience, he provides an incredible amount of juice and a level of excitement for this team. While Gardner Minshew is more than serviceable, the atmosphere changes when he comes in. Not a knock on his ability, but it almost feel more like a preseason game when the starters are pulled.
The list of injuries to start Richardson’s career are starting to pile up. From minor tweaks against Jacksonville, to the concussion (at this point, who on the Colts hasn’t had one?), to the recent and most devastating of the group, a significant shoulder injury.
Rough start to rookie career for Anthony Richardson.— Mike Chappell (@mchappell51) October 8, 2023
*bruised left knee (Jax)
*sore ankle (Jax)
*concussion (at HOuston)
*right shoulder (Tenn)
Should we be concerned? One one hand, it has a bad look to it. Barely into the season and Richardson is already banged up. On the other, none of these injuries are related and none are lingering ones that just can seem to heal. The prognosis for all of them were/are to be back at 100%. It is a bad start, but it is most likely nothing more than that.
My panic meter is at a 3. It is registering, but I am not ready to adopt the notion that he is made of glass either. Injuries are part of the game. When 300 pound men are tackling and jumping on top of you, injuries are bound to happen. Ideally, with more experience, will come a reduction in these occurrences. Running through the endzone, stepping out of bounds, sliding properly, and even falling properly will all go a long way.
It isn’t time to panic yet. Take your finger off the button. Richardson will come back from this and be fine. He will be wiser and perhaps even better for it. You can’t expect a running quarterback not to run. He just has to make sure he does it judicially and only takes hits when necessary.