Colts QB Anthony Richardson injury timeline reportedly longer than expected

Tennessee Titans v Indianapolis Colts
Tennessee Titans v Indianapolis Colts / Justin Casterline/GettyImages

From the moment Colts QB Anthony Richardson went down grabbing his shoulder, sandwiched between two defenders, optimistic fans (and former NFL player Twitter doctors) were hoping for an AC joint sprain, rather than substantive damage.

While the Colts appear to have avoided a clavicle fracture or anything that requires surgical repair, it still seems as if fans who got their hopes up will have to suffer through an IR stint and an extended absence.

The reported initial diagnosis, per Ian Rapoport, is a Grade 3 AC joint sprain, which comes attached to a 4-to-6-week recovery.

An MRI taken Monday morning is expected to confirm this, though nothing is official until those results come back. Regardless, it's time to prepare for Gardner Minshew to be the captain of Indy's surprisingly frisky ship.

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Minshew made a positive first impression during Richardson's concussion recovery, and entered midway through Sunday's battle with the hated Titans to help deliver a crucial AFC South victory.

If Richardson misses all six weeks, that means Minshew will pilot the Colts through games at Jacksonville, at home against Cleveland and New Orleans, and trips to Carolina and New England. The Colts' bye, blessedly, arrives in Week 11, setting up a potential Richardson return the week of Thanksgiving against Baker Mayfield's Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

This isn't the news anyone wanted, and Richardson's enthralling rookie season didn't deserve a second, lengthier interruption. But Minshew is a luxury at backup that few teams have, and Indy's upcoming schedule is somewhat less than daunting. Just lean on Josh Downs and his world-class separation, and everything just might be alright.