July 21, 2024

 

Anthony Richardson showed off his incredible athleticism and strong arm during his first season with the Indianapolis Colts.

It was clear why the team took him with the fourth pick overall in the 2023 NFL Draft. Coach Shane Steichen would like the young signal-caller to be a bit more careful about the hits he takes (via Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer):

In his four games started last season, Richardson was injured twice. In Week 2 against the Houston Texans, the quarterback suffered a concussion on a hit while running in a touchdown.

The second injury, a season-ending AC joint sprain in his shoulder, occurred after he was tackled in a Week 5 game against the Tennessee Titans.

The Colts finished 2-2 in the games that Richardson started last year. After the quarterback went down, backup Gardner Minshew led the team to a 7-6 record.

Minshew is off the team now, having signed a free-agent deal with the Las Vegas Raiders. The Colts brought in Joe Flacco to serve as the backup.

The Colts need Richardson to use his legs to put pressure on the defense and open up passing lanes, but they also need their promising quarterback to stay healthy.

This could be a difficult balancing act for young players, but Richardson should be able to figure it out, though he has already said that he won’t be altering the way he plays moving forward.

The Colts spent free agency bringing back key players. Most importantly for Richardson was star wide receiver Michael Pittman Jr.’s new extension.

The team also features a talented second-year receiver in Josh Downs, a star running back in Jonathan Taylor, and an emerging tight end in Jelani Woods.

More help for Richardson came in the 2024 NFL Draft. The team used its first-round pick on edge rusher Laiatu Latu, but then spent its next four picks on offensive players.

Wide receiver Adonai Mitchell, projected to be a first-rounder, went to Indianapolis in the second. The team also selected offensive linemen Matt Goncalves and Tanor Bortolini.

The team selected wideout Anthony Gould in the fifth round. It certainly seems like the goal is to surround Richardson with as much quality as possible.

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