The Colts picked up their second straight win in Week 3 despite having Gardner Minshew under center. The team’s backup signal-caller will retain that position on the depth chart once Anthony Richardson clears concussion protocol.
Richardson exited Indianapolis’ Week 2 game against the Texans after being removed due to the hit he suffered while scoring his second rushing touchdown of the contest. He remains in concussion protocol for now, and head coach Shane Steichen did not say for certain whether Richardson or starting center Ryan Kelly would be able to practice on Wednesday. Presuming the former is able to do so, though, his starting gig will await him come Week 4.
“Anthony is our guy,” Steichen said, via Akeem Glaspie of the Indy Star. “[Richardson’s] our starting quarterback, but going back to Gardner, a ton of respect for Gardner and what he does on a week in and week out basis. When he goes in, he operates at a high level and couldn’t be more thankful that he’s here and what he’s done for this football team.”
Given the Colts’ decision to anoint Richardson the starter after just one preseason contest, Steichen’s remarks come as little surprise. The No. 4 pick was tapped as a candidate to see immediate playing time as a rookie (just like Bryce Young and C.J. Stroud, the two passers selected ahead of him), and his success on the ground in particular – 5.8 yards per carry, three touchdowns – has earned him a continued look as a first-teamer when healthy.
On the other hand, Minshew has been efficient in his time filling in for Richardson and his Week 3 start. The 27-year-old has posted a 66.7% completion percentage while throwing a pair of touchdowns with no interceptions. Targeted by the Colts in part for his Eagles connection to Steichen, Minshew represents a high-floor backup option to Richardson, as he has already demonstrated in the early going of the 2023 campaign.
Richardson’s participation in practice in the coming days will be worth watching closely, but for now he should be expected to clear the protocol in time for Week 4 against the Rams on Sunday. As long as he is available, he will return to his starting duties while Minshew is relegated back to his QB2 role.