Posted on: September 18, 2023, 12:47h.
Last updated on: September 18, 2023, 12:47h.
The Indianapolis Colts suffer a setback as rookie quarterback Anthony Richardson sustains a head injury and concussion in their victory against the Houston Texans in Week 2.
Richardson promptly reported his concussion, and the team’s medical staff assessed him for a head injury. The Colts subsequently substituted Richardson with backup quarterback Gardner Minshew in the second quarter.
Despite Richardson’s absence, the Colts managed to secure a 31-20 victory over the Texans, bringing their season record to 1-1.
Richardson’s Concussion Occurs During Touchdown Run
The Colts drafted Richardson as the fourth overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft from the University of Florida.
In his NFL debut against the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 1, Richardson displayed typical rookie performance, completing 24-of-31 passes for 223 yards, one touchdown, and enduring four sacks and an interception. He also added 40 rushing yards and one rushing touchdown to his impressive debut.
Despite exiting Week 1 late with a bruised knee, Richardson made his Week 2 start against the Texans without appearing on the injury report.
Richardson demonstrated a strong start against the Texans in his second game, completing 6-of-10 passes for 56 yards, rushing three times for 35 yards, and contributing two touchdowns before sustaining his head injury and concussion. Safety M.J. Stewart blindsided Richardson during his second touchdown run, causing the rookie to fall backwards into the end zone and hit 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,” teammate Michael Pittman, Jr. commented. “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 for the next two drives, resulting in three-and-out possessions. At that point, Richardson started to feel woozy and reported his condition to the medical staff.
“I feel like that’s the most mature thing you can do as a professional athlete – 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 Takes Over
Minshew took the reins in the season opener when Richardson suffered a knee injury during the last drive against the Jaguars. In the final three plays of the game, Minshew threw two incompletions during an unsuccessful goal-line stand.
In Week 2, Minshew played nearly three quarters against the Texans after Richardson’s head injury. He completed 19-of-23 passes for 171 yards and one touchdown, with two rushing attempts for three yards.
The Colts acquired Minshew in the offseason, where he served as Jalen Hurts’ backup for the Philadelphia Eagles. Although disappointed when Richardson won the starting quarterback job in Indianapolis, Minshew embraced his role as a mentor to the rookie.
“I’m excited to work, continue to get better, and figure out how to win some games around here,” Minshew expressed during the preseason.
If Richardson remains in concussion protocol and cannot play against the Baltimore Ravens in Week 3, Minshew will start in his place.
“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 his 24 career starts, Minshew has accumulated an 8-16 record. He made a significant impact as a rookie for the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2019 when he replaced an injured Nick Foles, achieving a 6-6 record as a starter. However, since his promising debut season, Minshew has struggled and only won 2 out of 10 games.
Richardson’s Injury and Colts’ Performance in the Futures Market
DraftKings initially set the line for the Colts/Ravens matchup at -7.5. However, early money placed on the Ravens caused the point spread to shift to -8.
The Colts currently hold a 1-1 record against the point spread this season. They failed to cover in the season opener as a +3.5 home underdog against the Jaguars. In Week 2, they were a slight road underdog at +1 against the Texans and won outright, improving their straight-up and ATS record to 1-1.
With +275 odds to make the playoffs and -370 odds to miss the postseason for the third consecutive year, the Colts rank among the lower-tier teams. They hold a 1-1 divisional play record.
The Jacksonville Jaguars (1-1) are the favored team to win the AFC South with -145 odds. The Tennessee Titans (1-1) trail behind at +240, followed by the Colts at +700. The Houston Texans (0-2) are the long shot with +1300 odds to win the division.
The Colts sit near the bottom of the futures board with +10000 odds to win the AFC Championship. Their chances of winning the Super Bowl are even slimmer at +13000 odds.
Furthermore, the Colts are currently experiencing a strained relationship with running back Jonathan Taylor, who requested a trade following unsuccessful contract extension negotiations in the preseason. Taylor remains on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list as he recovers from offseason ankle surgery, and the Colts have yet to find a suitable trade partner.