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Colts QB Anthony Richardson to undergo season-ending shoulder surgery

Indianapolis Colts quarterback Anthony Richardson's season is over after four games.

The team announced Wednesday that the No. 4 overall pick would undergo season-ending shoulder surgery.

"After consultation with our medical staff, Anthony, and those close to him, it has been determined that he will undergo surgery to repair his injured shoulder, which will end his season," owner Jim Irsay said in a statement. "Anthony is a competitor, and we know how difficult and disappointing this is for him and our team. We collected several medical opinions and we felt this was the best course of action for his long-term health. We anticipate a full recovery and there is no doubt Anthony has a promising future. In the meantime, I love the fight of this team and I'm excited for the opportunity we have ahead of us. It starts this week with Cleveland."

The news was expected after Irsay indicated earlier this week that Richardson would likely see his season end. The QB was placed on injured reserve last week.

Richardson injured his throwing shoulder during the Colts' Week 5 win over Tennessee. In four starts, the rookie QB was unable to finish three due to injuries. He missed Week 3's win in Baltimore with a concussion.

In his brief first season, Richardson, 21, flashed the tantalizing potential that made him a top-four pick. The rookie showed a cannon arm and dynamic rushing ability. Those traits were evident during the draft process. Richardson also showed better-than-expected processing and a willingness to get the ball out quickly in first-year coach Shane Steichen's scheme.

Alas, what looked like it could be a massive rookie campaign has ended early. Richardson completed 50 of 84 passes for 577 yards, three touchdowns and one interception and added 136 rushing yards on 25 attempts and four rushing scores in four starts.

The goal for the Colts, who watched Andrew Luck deal with a shoulder injury that waylaid his career, is to ensure Richardson's future is secure.

"This is the best thing for him and this franchise moving forward so we can get him healthy for next season," Steichen said Wednesday. "You take a guy fourth overall, a tremendous competitor, a great player, the longevity of him needs to be at a premium."

Steichen added that there is a "good chance" that Richardson could be ready for spring workouts in 2024.

One question moving forward is whether the Colts and Richardson will need to adjust how they play to ensure the injuries don't become chronic without sapping the QB's dynamic ability.

"We'll cross that bridge next year when we get there," Steichen said. "But again, one of the things that makes him really good is [he's] a runner, and a lot of those guys around the league that run and make plays, that's what helps your offense. But we'll cross that bridge when we come to it."

With Richardson's season officially ending, the 3-3 Colts will stampede forward with Gardner Minshew under center as they attempt to keep pace in the AFC South. When he protects the football, Minshew is a capable signal-caller, even if he lacks the upside of a Richardson.

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