As nasty as Indianapolis Colts QB Anthony Richardson's shoulder injury looked on Sunday, the ultimate outcome may not be much worse than his recent concussion -- as long as he escaped without a secondary issue.
Super Bowl champion offensive lineman (XXVI with Washington) Mark Adickes was watching the horrid "highlight" of the Richardson injury, and his diagnostic instincts kicked into high gear.
Adickes, known on Twitter as @jocktodoc, became an orthopedic surgeon in the wake of his playing days, serving as the Houston Rockets' team physician, among other relevant positions in the field.
After watching the Richardson injury at full speed, Adickes diagnosed the QB from afar with a likely AC joint sprain in his right shoulder. Unless there's a clavicle fracture attached to Richardson's shoulder sprain, he could miss only a few weeks.
Colts QB Anthony Richardson recovery timeline: likely AC joint sprain
Richardson writhing in pain and immediately gesturing to his shoulder set off immediate alarms. After all, there was no doubt in his mind -- the pain was strong, and its location was obvious.
Per Adickes' expert opinion, though, it seems likely Richardson was in shock and dealing with a sprain (though, of course, complications and fractures are always possible). The QB was displaced powerfully by two defenders. That can do more damage than is evident at first blush.
Silver lining? The Colts have one of the league's most capable backups in Gardner Minshew, who's up to game speed already, considering how recently he was used in Richardson's stead during QB1's concussion recovery. Minshew might not elevate the offense's ceiling in quiote the same way, but he's certainly capable of swiping an up-for-grabs AFC South. Richardson should be able to return in due time as well.