Indianapolis Colts Quarterback Anthony Richardson Struggles in Preseason Debut

Indianapolis Colts fans got an extended look at their brand-new franchise quarterback on Saturday. Anthony Richardson, the fourth pick of the 2023 NFL Draft, made his pro debut earlier tonight against the Buffalo Bills, completing seven of 12 passes for 67 yards while adding two rushes for seven yards.

Richardson's first drive ended with an ugly forced throw that resulted in an interception. The Bills promptly punched in a touchdown. The Colts followed that up with a turnover on downs at midfield.

To Richardson's credit, he marched the Colts from their own seven-yard line to deep into Bills territory on his third and final drive. Unfortunately, the drive went to waste when kicker Matt Gay missed a 28-yards field goal attempt.

Players of Richardson's stature rarely get extended looks in the preseason these days, so tonight's performance was notable. The fate of the Colts' franchise rests squarely on his shoulders, but coaches clearly decided getting him reps was more important than protecting him from injury.

There's a logic to that. For all his astounding tools, Richardson is raw, even for a rookie quarterback. Entering the draft, his upside drew comparisons to Bills quarterback Josh Allen; it took Allen until his third season to grow into the perennial offensive force he is today.

Just like Allen was, Richardson is a project. Today's effort shouldn't raise too many eyebrows. But it should be a reminder that the Colts are building for a future that may not have arrived just yet.

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