The lessons of Luck are being applied to Anthony Richardson
In 2015, Luck opted out of surgery and suffered for years with a shoulder injury; this time, with Richardson, the Colts and the player are choosing season-ending surgery. Smart.
Everything the Colts are doing now is being informed by their Andrew Luck experience. The decision that was officially revealed Wednesday late morning – Anthony Richardson will soon undergo right shoulder surgery for an injured AC joint – has its origins in the Luck saga, when the quarterback chose to eschew 2015 surgery and spent the next two years dealing with pain and constant rehab.
Understand, Luck had a partially torn labrum; Richardson has a sprained AC joint. But the bigger picture remains the same; by shutting down Richardson for the rest of this once-hopeful season, the Colts are smartly hoping to avoid the same sad and painful conclusion they experienced with Luck, who retired in 2019. Get it done now and pray it doesn’t become an insistent problem.
Is this any guarantee he’ll stay healthy from here on out? Obviously, it isn’t.
In just four starts, Richardson failed to finish three games – first with a bruised knee, then a concussion and finally the shoulder issue. Football is a collision sport and, let’s be honest, the hit that caused the shoulder sprain wasn’t exactly a Dick Butkus special. It was a normal tackle, a normal football play. The result, though, showed that the football gods have a twisted sense of humor. Another stud quarterback, another bum right shoulder.
“We collected several medical opinions, and we felt this was the best course of action for his long-term health,” Jim Irsay wrote in a statement. “We anticipate a full recovery, and there is no doubt Anthony has a promising future.”
The Colts fully expect Richardson will be ready to roll again come next season.
Don’t misunderstand: The Colts did not screw up with Luck in 2015. That was Luck’s call, Luck’s decision to hold off on surgery, something he’s spoken about in the past. He stubbornly clung to the belief that with rehab, he could recover his old form. Instead, it resulted in years of pain and torment.
In the end, the shoulder, along with several other injuries, including an AC joint injury from snowboarding, ended his career prematurely.
The Colts weren’t going to let it happen again, not on their watch. They want 10-12 years out of Richardson, maybe even more, and let’s face it, they’ve seen enough in this small sample size to be convinced that he’s the quarterback of the future.