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Will Colts Anthony Richardson’s Playing Style Be a Problem?

Anthony Richardson is looking for a comeback in 2024 with the Colts, but will his playing style be a problem for his future?

Many concerns exist about Anthony Richardson’s health moving forward with the Indianapolis Colts. After suffering a season-ending shoulder injury in week five last season, Richardson has been throwing in OTAs this offseason. If he continues to trend in a position direction with his shoulder, he should be ready to play this season. The issue is whether or not Anthony Richardson will be able to be the same flashy, explosive player that he once was for the Colts.

In an interview, Richardson addressed the concerns with his health. He stated, “I don’t think I’m gonna change (my playing style), but being smart, knowing when to get extra yards and knowing when to get down, I feel like I know how to do that. It’s just I have to do it and do it at the right time, I guess. I don’t know if I’m gonna change my game, but being smarter for the team, of course”.

Will Anthony Richardson’s Playing Style Be a Problem for the Colts?

The Danger with Running Quarterbacks

There is consistent concern surrounding dual-threat quarterbacks. That concern is whether or not that kind of playing style can be sustained in the NFL. Throughout the history of the NFL, running quarterbacks tend to have shorter careers than pocket-passers. In a study, it was also noted that running quarterbacks have their best rushing seasons when they are young. As they get older, the nature of the game forces them to adapt and keep themselves in the pocket.

That being said, Anthony Richardson just turned 22 this year and therefore, he could still be a dual-threat quarterback for the Colts for several more seasons. However, it might not be something that he can sustain for the next 10-15 years and that is okay. The more Richardson plays, the more he will develop and adapt to the league.

A Look at Pocket Quarterbacks

Unfortunately, injuries are a part of the game and the NFL does not discriminate against pocket passers or running quarterbacks. Los Angeles Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford is a 36-year-old pocket quarterback. Throughout his career in the NFL, he has sustained numerous injuries that have sidelined him for games including a couple of season-ending injuries. Another example is Cincinnati Bengals quarterback, Joe Burrow. He is a young 27-year-old quarterback who has sustained a couple of season-ending injuries in his short career. He is a pocket passer who has struggled to consistently stay healthy since his rookie year in 2020.

A Look at Running Quarterbacks

On the flip side, Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson is a 27-year-old running quarterback. Throughout his short career in the NFL, he has sustained several injuries. However, his injuries have not been as severe or worrisome as Stafford of Burrow. Another high-profile running quarterback is Buffalo Bills 28-year-old quarterback Josh Allen. Throughout his career in the NFL, Allen missed four games, and all four came during his rookie season in 2018. Since then, he has not missed time on the field.

What Does This Mean for Anthony Richardson?

In conclusion, there does not appear to be any data that suggests a running quarterback is destined to sustain continuous injuries throughout his career. There is also not a lot of data that suggests being in the pocket is the better playing style. Every player is different and every player’s body is different. The main thing is making sure that players take care of their bodies in the offseason so that they can withstand the harsh demands of playing in the NFL. For the Colts, Anthony Richardson appears to understand that assignment. Therefore, if he continues to be smart, he should have a sustainable career as a quarterback in the NFL.

Main Photo: Bob Scheer-USA TODAY Sports


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