Despite being a 4-12-1 team last season, there are currently a ton of eyes on the Indianapolis Colts. Why are so many people currently paying attention to a franchise that was one of the worst teams in the league last season? Well, one reason is the Jonathan Taylor contract situation. The other major reason is the quarterback situation.
This offseason, the Colts released Matt Ryan, signed Gardner Minshew, and selected Anthony Richardson with the fourth-overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft. Now, everyone is curious to know when the dynamic Richardson will start his first game in the NFL. Team owner Jim Irsay has already made it clear that Richardson will play as a rookie, but he’s leaving it up to head coach Shane Steichen to decide when the rookie will make his debut.
Now that the Colts are in training camp. The battle between Minshew and Richardson has officially started. It’ll be a while before we find out a winner, but that hasn’t stopped people from predicting who’ll start Week 1. Dan Graziano, in a recent piece for ESPN, predicted the winner of 10 different quarterback battles.
For the Colts, Graziano predicted that the rookie Anthony Richardson will be able to lock up the starting spot by Week 1.
ESPN predicts Anthony Richardson will start Week 1
Graziano pointed out that Minshew already has a familiarity with Steichen’s offense, spending the last two years with him in Philadelphia. However, it’s Richardson that the Colts are investing in, so the battle is more about the rookie’s readiness than it is who’s actually better. Graziano believes that by the time Week 1 rolls around, Richardson will be ready.
"Even if he still needs refining as a passer, Richardson will offer enough as a runner that he'll be the Colts' best option right out of the chute. And he may not even need as much refining as a passer as many thought he would. I say Richardson starts Week 1."- Dan Graziano (ESPN)
That’s certainly what fans are hoping for. Minshew is a fun personality and an easy guy to root for, but Richardson is the future of the franchise and hopefully the present. The quicker the Anthony Richardson era can start the better.