Steichen explains what must happen for Anthony Richardson to return to Colts lineup

After missing Week 3 with a concussion, rookie quarterback Anthony Richardson must check off a couple of boxes before he can return to the starting lineup.
Indianapolis Colts v Philadelphia Eagles
Indianapolis Colts v Philadelphia Eagles / Mitchell Leff/GettyImages

Anthony Richardson’s NFL career was off to a hot start with the Indianapolis Colts. In the first quarter of just his second game in the league, Richardson scored two rushing touchdowns, and Colts fans rejoiced that they finally had the one. Unfortunately, Richardson sustained a concussion after his head slammed agaist the field on his second touchdown run.

That caused Richardson to miss the majority of the Week 2 action against the Houston Texans, and the entirety of the Week 3 game against the Baltimore Ravens. Fortunately, the Colts won both games, and are now leading the AFC South with a 2-1 record.

Still, everyone wants to know when Indianapolis’ rookie quarterback is going to return to the field. On Monday, Shane Steichen explained that Richardson, and starting center Ryan Kelly, are still in concussion protocol. As Nate Atkins reported, Richardson and Kelly need two practices (one non-contact and one contact) before they can be cleared. Neither player practiced last week, so their next opportunity to get these practices will be Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday.

If Richardson does practice and gets cleared, there’s then the question of if he’ll be put back in the starting lineup, or if Indy will stick with Gardner Minshew.

Will Colts stick with Gardner Minshew after Anthony Richardson clears concussion protocol?

Honestly, it’s not a question at all. Despite some people’s attempt to make it a conversation, Steichen made it clear on Monday that Richardson is still QB1 whenever he’s healthy, telling the media, “Anthony is our guy… if Anthony is ready to go, he’ll go.” Steichen did express gratitude that the Colts have a quality backup quarterback like Minshew, but Indy handed the keys to Richardson in training camp, and it’s still his team.

That’s certainly the decision that makes the most sense. The Colts are hoping that Richardson can be the franchise quarterback for the next decade plus some and he’s already shown that he’s ready to be the quarterback now. It’s great that Indianapolis can still win with Minshew filling in, but it was clear in the last two games that Richardson should definitely be the starter. The only concern is keeping he rookie quarterback healthy and getting him to finish a game.