Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay believes rookie quarterback Anthony Richardson may need season-ending surgery on his injured throwing shoulder.
Irsay told ESPN that Richardson and the team’s medical staff are still considering treatment options for Richardson’s sprained ACL, but a final decision has not yet been made – reiterating coach Shane Steichen’s comments earlier Monday.
“The most likely scenario is that he will be gone all year,” Irsay said. “I mean, it’s not decided yet, but he probably won’t be here this year and we have to deal with that factor.”
Steichen didn’t speculate about which path Richardson and the Colts (3-3) would take.
Instead, Steichen said discussions were ongoing as team officials continued to gather information about the injury and any possible treatments, including season-ending surgery. Steichen, like Irsay, acknowledged that Richardson’s long-term health and the long-term future of the franchise would also be key factors in the decision-making process.
“Of course we want to do the best for him and this organization in the future,” said Steichen. “As I said, we will make that decision when the time is right.”
Richardson missed his second game Sunday in Jacksonville despite traveling with the team and wearing a sling to protect his throwing shoulder while watching Indy’s loss from the sidelines.
He was injured at the end of a short first-half run against Tennessee the previous week. After hitting the ground awkwardly, he lay there for several minutes before slowly walking to the team’s medical tent with his right shoulder slumped. Richardson was unable to replicate that 23-16 victory and was placed on injured reserve last week, a move that will keep him out for at least three more weeks.
The 1.80 meter tall, 110 kilogram former star of the Florida Gators was prone to injuries in his first NFL season.
He missed the final minute of Indy’s season opener with a bruised knee and sore ankle, suffered a concussion in the first half of a Week 2 win over Houston, and missed the following week while still in the concussion protocol. Then, a week after returning to the field and finishing his first NFL game, he injured his shoulder.
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Indy selected Richardson No. 4 overall in April and he got off to a promising start. He threw for 577 yards, three touchdowns and one interception, completing 59.7% of his throws in four games. He also has 25 carries for 136 yards and four touchdowns, making him the first quarterback of the Super Bowl era with TD runs in each of his first three NFL games.
However, now his rookie season may be over.
“There is a debate, but there will probably be an operation in the next week or so,” Irsay said. “We’re just trying to figure out exactly how and when and what we want to do and what Anthony wants to do.”