Indianapolis Colts Rookie QB Anthony Richardson Enters Concussion Protocol

Posted on: September 18, 2023, 12:47h. 

Last updated on: September 18, 2023, 04:55h.

The Indianapolis Colts lost rookie quarterback Anthony Richardson to a head injury and a concussion on their way to a victory against the Houston Texans in Week 2.

Anthony Richardson Colts concussion
Indianapolis Colts running back Anthony Richardson sustains a head injury and concussion after a hard hit from Houston Texans safety M.G. Stewart at NRG Stadium. (Image: AP)

Richardson self-reported the concussion, and the team’s medical staff evaluated him for a head injury. The Colts pulled Richardson, and backup quarterback Gardner Minshew entered the game a few minutes into the second quarter.

Without Richardson, the Colts held on and defeated the Texans 31-20. The Colts improved to 1-1 on the season.

The Colts selected Richardson with the fourth overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft out of Florida.

Richardson looked like a rookie in his NFL debut in a Week 1 loss against the Jacksonville Jaguars. He completed 24-of-31 passes for 223 yards and one touchdown, was sacked four times, and tossed an interception. The versatile Richardson added 40 rushing yards and one rushing touchdown.

Richardson exited Week 1 late in the fourth quarter with a bruised knee but didn’t appear on the Week 2 injury report and started against the Texans.

Richardson Suffers Concussion on TD Run

Richardson had a strong start against the Texans in his second game under center before his head injury and concussion. He went 6-for-10 while passing for 56 yards and rushed three times for 35 yards and two touchdowns.

Midway through the first quarter, Richardson was blindsided on his second touchdown run by safety M.J. Stewart. Stewart drilled Richardson, and the rookie fell backward into the end zone, banging his head on the turf.

“I got hit hard,” said Richardson. “I was jogging in, and the dude hit me, and I wasn’t expecting that.”

“Tony just didn’t see him,” said teammate Michael Pittman, Jr. “He thought he was home free. He caught a shot at the end, which I thought was unnecessary. But then he bounced up so fast.”

Richardson continued to play in the next two drives, which ended in three-and-out possessions. At that point, Richardson felt woozy and self-reported his status to the medical staff.

“I feel like that’s the most mature thing you can do as a professional athlete is to acknowledge, ‘Hey, I’m not right and not going to help my team win,'” said Colts tight end Kylen Granson.

Next Man Up: Gardner Minshew

Minshew closed out the season opener when Richardson suffered a knee injury against the Jaguars on the game’s final drive. Minshew tossed two incompletions during an unsuccessful goal-line stand in the game’s final three plays.

In Week 2, Minshew played for nearly three quarters against the Texans after Richardson went down with a head injury. He completed 19-of-23 passes for 171 yards and one touchdown. He rushed just twice for three yards.

The Colts signed Minshew in the off-season after he spent the last two seasons as Jalen Hurts’ backup with the Philadelphia Eagles. Minshew was bummed when Richardson edged him out for the starting quarterback job in Indianapolis. But he didn’t make it weird for the rookie and embraced his role as a mentor.

“I’m excited to work, continue to get better, and figure out how to win some games around here,” Minshew said in the preseason.

If Richardson remains in concussion protocol and cannot play in Week 3 against the Baltimore Ravens, Minshew will start.

“I’ll be ready,” said Minshew. “Tony is the leader of this team. I was happy to be able to fill in and help when I could. But I’m going to continue to support him and help him as much as I can.”

In 24 career starts, Minshew has an 8-16 record. He made a huge splash as a rookie with the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2019 when he took over for an injured Nick Foles and went 6-6 as a starter. He’s only gone 2-10 since his auspicious debut season.

Richardson Injury and Colts on the Futures Market

DraftKings opened the line in the Colts/Ravens at -7.5 on Sunday afternoon. Early money backed the Ravens, and the point spread moved to -8.

The Colts began this season with a 1-1 record against the point spread. They failed to cover in the season opener as a +3.5 home underdog against the Jaguars. They were a slight road underdog in Week 2 at +1 against the Texans. The Colts won outright and improved to 1-1 straight up and ATS.

The Colts are +275 to make the playoffs and -370 to miss the postseason for a third consecutive year. They’re now 1-1 in divisional play.

The Jaguars (1-1) are the consensus favorite to win the AFC South at -145 odds. They’re ahead of the Tennessee Titans (1-1) at +240 and the Colts at +700. The Texans (0-2) are the long shot to win the division at +1300.

The Colts are near the bottom of the futures board at +10000 odds to win the AFC championship. They’re also a long shot to win the Super Bowl at +13000 odds.

The Colts are still in a bitter breakup with running back Jonathan Taylor, who requested a trade after contract extension negotiations broke down in the preseason. The Colts haven’t found a suitable trade partner for Taylor, who is currently on the PUP list while he recovers from off-season ankle surgery.