Colts QB Anthony Richardson learning to play ‘smart’

After an injury-shortened rookie season, Indianapolis Colts quarterback Anthony Richardson still plans to maintain his aggressive style while “being smart” and hopefully staying healthy.

“I feel like I’m going to stay the same, keep being me,” the 2023 first-round draft pick told reporters on Thursday. “I can’t try to run through everybody. If it’s first-and-10, I need to get what I can get, get down, get out of bounds, get to the sideline, do what I can do. … But if the game is on the line, I’ve got to go out there and compete.”

Richardson, 21, made four starts (winning two) and completed 50 of 84 passes for 577 yards with three touchdowns and one interception. He also rushed for 136 yards and four scores on just 25 carries.

He got knocked out of the season opener against Jacksonville with a bruised knee, left with a concussion in Week 2 versus Houston and sustained a season-ending shoulder injury in Week 5 against Tennessee. The injury required surgery and he was placed on injured reserve on Oct. 11.

“The injury definitely opened my eyes to the fact that I need to be healthy for the team, for everybody in this building. It allowed me to slow my mind down a little bit and sit back and really learn the game a little bit,” Richardson said. “Just sitting back and learning from (quarterback) Gardner (Minshew) and coach Shane (Steichen) and just being in the building a lot, it definitely taught me a lot of things this year.”

The Colts made a playoff push without Richardson and finished 9-8, knocked out of postseason contention Saturday with a 23-19 loss to the Texans.

“I wanted to play. I wanted to be out there with the team,” Richardson said. “This injury kind of set me back a little bit. But after talking to the training staff and getting different opinions from different doctors and talking to my agent and my family, they said, long term, this was the best thing for me to do. If I did try to get out there and play again, I probably wouldn’t be able to throw it, I would only be able to run it.”

Richardson said he will split his time in the offseason between Indianapolis and Jacksonville, where he will work out with his quarterbacks coach Denny Thompson. He hopes to begin throwing again in February.