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Colts QB Anthony Richardson strongly considering season-ending shoulder surgery

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The Indianapolis Colts may have to wait until the 2024 season to see more of the promise shown by rookie quarterback Anthony Richardson.

Richardson is strongly considering season-ending shoulder surgery on his damaged AC joint, sources say, with a procedure deemed by some as the best option to fully heal his right throwing shoulder. Richardson and Indianapolis sought four or five opinions on his shoulder, sources say, taking their time before arriving at this conclusion.

The good news from Richardson's MRI is that the labrum in his right shoulder is not torn. The ligaments, sources say, looked better than expected.

Richardson exited last week's game with a Grade 3 AC joint sprain, a serious and significant injury that landed him on injured reserve this past Wednesday. There was some thought initially that Richardson could rehab and attempt to come back before the end of the season -- and there is no harm in trying that for the time being -- but some reality likely has set in over the past few days as reactions and analysis came in.

Gardner Minshew, who finished up the 23-16 win over the Titans, will start Sunday for Indy against the Jaguars. One of the top backups in the NFL, Minshew is more than capable of leading the Colts.

Still, there is plenty of disappointment for Richardson, the Colts brass, coaches and everyone tied to the franchise. Before the season, there were visions of pairing Jonathan Taylor and Richardson together. Taylor is set to take on a larger workload against the Jaguars after spending the first four games on the physically unable to perform list due to an ankle injury.

Instead, the two likely were on the field together for one game.

The Colts have been through more than their share of QB injuries, with Peyton Manning and Andrew Luck as the most notable. But they also want to take the lessons learned from Luck, who dealt with his own shoulder issues during his career, and use that moving forward.

That includes getting as many eyes on Richardson's shoulder injury as possible, taking their time before arriving at a decision and doing whatever due diligence that it takes to ensure a full recovery for the No. 4 overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft.

But based on the type of injury Richardson suffered, there is a strong belief that surgery is the best option. Thus, much of the discussion has been on how to get Richardson to a full recovery, which led to this potential procedure.

Richardson has thrown for 577 yards with three touchdowns in four games this season, with an additional 136 yards and four scores on the ground.

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