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Indianapolis Colts owner provides eye-opening quote on Anthony Richardson heading into rookie season

Indianapolis Colts rookie quarterback Anthony Richardson will by vying for the starting job with veteran Gardner Minshew during training camp starting later this month.

Reports surrounding the No. 4 pick have been mixed during the offseason leading up to camp. In talking about his shiny new toy during an appearance on the Pat McAfee Show Monday, Colts owner Jim Irsay provided an eye-opening comment.

“For Anthony Richardson, it’s going to be tough. We know that. But he has to play to get better. I mean, there’s no question. Gardner [Minshew] could play come out and obviously play better early on, just being a veteran, but we have to get Anthony on the field. That’s Shane’s call when he decides to do it.”

Jim Irsay on Anthony Richardson

It’s interesting that Irsay would unequivocally indicate that Richardson has to play at times throughout his rookie season. First-year Colts head coach Shane Steichen hasn’t necessarily touched on the quarterback competition as of late. Instead, it’s Indianapolis’ hands-on owner who is opening up about the situation.

Related: Ranking all 32 NFL starting QBs heading into 2023

Anthony Richardson to see action as a rookie for the Indianapolis Colts

anthony richardson, indianapolis colts
IndyStar-USA TODAY Sports

Buzz was growing during the spring that Richardson could end up beating out Minshew for the Colts’ starting job. That was quieted recently with a report from beat writer James Boyd of The Athletic.

“I think the biggest factor in Richardson starting Week 1 will be improving his consistency during training camp and preseason,” Boyd wrote. “As I’ve previously written, Richardson would often make the best throw of rookie minicamp, OTAs and veteran minicamp, but his overall performance was turbulent. That will need to change in order for him to take the reins in the season opener.”

Indianapolis is in an interesting situation in that the team firmly believes it can contend in what is a mediocre AFC South this coming season. The Jacksonville Jaguars won the division with a 9-8 record in 2022. There are major questions surrounding the Houston Texans and Tennessee Titans in the division.

It stands to reason that Minshew will break camp as QB1 based on Irsay’s comments. The owner indicated that there’s a good chance that Minshew will play better out of the gate in comparison to Richardson. This makes sense given the experience factor.

Indianapolis opens the season at home against the defending division champion Jaguars before a road date against the Houston Texans in Week 3. Only three of the Colts’ games ahead of a Week 11 bye come against teams that earned a playoff spot a season ago. If they are not in contention or struggling on offense once that bye comes calling, Richardson will more than likely be given his chance.

We’ll know more once Indianapolis Colts training camp opens up.

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