NFL Trade Rumors: Indianapolis Colts Quarterback Anthony Richardson Still Battling Shoulder Soreness

The Indianapolis Colts are exercising caution with their franchise passer. According to ESPN's Stephen Holder, the Colts held out quarterback Anthony Richardson from their final practice of the offseason due to "shoulder soreness."

Richardson is still recovering from an AC joint sprain he suffered during the 2023 season. That injury (and a pair of concussions) limited him to four starts. Head coach Shane Steichen downplayed the missed practice time, insisting Richardson could play if there was a game on Sunday.

Players taking time off during offseason workouts isn't typically a big deal, but Richardson is a special case. He entered the league as the fourth overall pick of the 2023 NFL Draft projected as a Cam Newton or Josh Allen-esque bulldozer at the quarterback position. He clearly struggled with durability issues in his first season, and an inability to stay on the field will negate every advantage his size and rushing ability brings to the table.

Even without Richardson, the Colts were a competitive team in 2023: They finished 7-6 over his 13 missed starts. Still, the leap from middle-of-the-pack to elite in the NFL is difficult to make. If Richardson can become a reliable and effective starter, the Colts will have every chance to compete for the playoffs and maybe even a championship. But he'll need to prove he can survive an NFL season first. His health may very well be the biggest question the Colts face going forward. 

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