INDIANAPOLIS – Speculation became reality for Anthony Richardson.
The Indianapolis Colts’ rookie quarterback will undergo surgery on his right shoulder and miss the remainder of the season, according to owner Jim Irsay.
“After consultation with our medical staff, Anthony and those close to him, it has been determined that he will undergo surgery to repair his injured shoulder, which will end his season,” Irsay posted on social media Wednesday.
“Anthony is a competitor, and we know how difficult and disappointing this is for him and our team. We collected several medical opinions and we felt this was the best course of action for his long-term health.
“We anticipate a full recovery and there is no doubt Anthony has a promising future.”
Richardson, the No. 4 overall pick in the draft, and the team determined surgery was the best option to repair a grade 3 sprain to the AC joint in his right (throwing) shoulder. He suffered the injury in the second quarter of the Colts’ week 5 win over Tennessee when Titans linebacker Harold Landry fell on him at the end of a 4-yard run.
It marked the third time in four starts Richardson was unable to finish a game – a bruised knee against the Jacksonville Jaguars and a concussion at Houston – and he also missed the Week 3 trip to Baltimore with the brain injury.
During his media availability Wednesday, coach Shane Steichen admitted the team will consider addressing how to limit the risk of injury when Richardson takes off on designed runs or scrambles on passing plays.
“We’ll cross that bridge next year,” he said. “But again, one of the things that makes him really good is (as) a runner.”
That’s one of the traits that convinced the Colts to hitch their future on Richardson in the April draft.
One of the drawbacks to Richardson was his college experience: 13 starts at Florida.
Even though Richardson’s rookie season consists of four starts and 173 offensive snaps, he’s given the franchise every indication he’s the right guy moving forward. He passed for 577 yards and three touchdowns with one interception, but was dangerous as a runner with 136 yards and four TDs.
“Shoot, I thought when he played he was explosive and he was electric,” Steichen said. “He gives us an opportunity every time he steps on the field for a football game. Just his big-play ability, throwing the ball down the field, the runs he had, the touchdown runs, the four touchdown runs in the limited time he played.
“There is a tremendous opportunity for him.”
Steichen said Richardson will handle this adversity in the proper way.
“This will be a great learning experience for him moving forward,” he said. “He’ll be engaged, he’ll be in the meetings, he’ll be at practice. He’ll learn this year. Sit back and watching and learning.
“In the long run . . . if you go through tough times, it’ll make you stronger. This is a tough time for any player. Obviously your rookie year you want to be out there with your teammates. I know he’s crushed about it, too.”
The decision for Richardson to undergo season-ending surgery provides clarity for the Colts for the remainder of the season.
“This is Gardner’s team,” Steichen said of Gardner Minshew II. “We’ve got a ton of confidence in Gardner.”
Minshew will be backed up by Sam Ehlinger for the rest of the season.
In his second start this season, Minshew suffered four turnovers – one fumble and a career-high three interceptions – in Sunday’s 37-20 loss at Jacksonville.
For the year, he’s completed 90 of 138 passes (65.2%) for 882 yards with three touchdowns, three interceptions and an 81.3 rating.
Minshew makes his third start of the season and 27th of his five-year career Sunday when the Cleveland Browns visit Lucas Oil Stadium.