Indianapolis Colts running back Trent Richardson was suspended during the playoffs due to what we were told were “personal reasons.” Now thanks to a report from Stephen Holder, Richardson might have had a very legitimate reason for missing a team walkthrough.
According to Holder’s report, Richardson was attending to his pregnant girlfriend who was suffering from serious complications.
"However, sources said his absence was the result of serious complications with his girlfriend’s pregnancy that could potentially have endangered the life of the child.These sources said the mother was experiencing contractions and appeared to be in premature labor at just 28 weeks of pregnancy.Richardson, sources said, rushed her to the hospital in the early-morning hours of Jan. 17 — the same day the team departed for the New England game — missing that morning’s walkthrough in Indianapolis and the team’s chartered flight."
The Colts suspended Richardson for two games without pay for what they deemed as conduct detrimental to the team. The first of those two games was the AFC Championship game, the second would be the 2015 season opener.
The suspension was presumably a precursor for the team to cut Richardson without having to pay him the nearly $3.2 million he’s owed in 2015. There are plenty of reasons the Colts could void the remainder of Richardson’s contract and a suspension is one of them.
General manager Ryan Grigson hasn’t said much about the circumstances for the suspension, and only cited “personal reasons” in his press conference. Holder said that sources indicated that Richardson failed to get in touch with the team about his absence.
The story also delved into the issue of Richardson’s weight. There was indication that he was overweight for the later half of the season and fined multiple times by the team for not maintaining his playing shape.
While its very clear that the Colts want to move on from Richardson, they will clearly be in for a fight if they expect to cut him with pay. Its likely that the NFLPA or his agent will file a grievance with the team and go to arbitration on the matter.
If this report about Richardson’s girlfriend is true, and it led to his suspension, then the Colts seriously need to reconsider how they conduct business. To suspend his for attending to his ailing girlfriend and future child, a matter in my opinion that is far more important that football, would be unbelievably heartless.
This doesn’t sound like the kind of thing that Jim Irsay would approve of and it wouldn’t be surprising if the situation changed later today.