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Colts' Richardson 'on a mission' entering 2nd season

Carmen Mandato / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Indianapolis Colts quarterback Anthony Richardson is eager to return to action after a shoulder injury prematurely ended his rookie campaign in 2023.

"I've never waited this long to get back to playing football," Richardson told ESPN's Stephen Holder. "I'm just on a mission this year. Once that mission's complete, then I'll be good."

Richardson's first pro campaign ended after he underwent surgery to repair an AC joint sprain in October. The 2023 first-round pick was limited to four games, passing for 577 yards, three touchdowns, and one interception. He added 136 rushing yards for an additional four scores.

"People didn't really get to see everything I could do on the field. So, it's kind of like a rookie season for me still," Richardson said. "But now, I've gained a lot more knowledge and understanding about football and the NFL. So, I'm a rookie at heart, but now I'm slowly turning into the leader that my team needs me to be."

Colts head coach Shane Steichen expressed excitement about the prospect of Richardson being cleared to participate in offseason workouts with the team later this month.

Doctors cleared Richardson to resume throwing in February. The young passing prospect is six-to-eight weeks ahead of his projected recovery schedule, per Holder.

The 21-year-old is taking a positive outlook on his journey through rehab.

"It'll make me stronger mentally, physically, and emotionally. So, I'm thankful for it because it's given me a different outlook on myself and the season I'm about to have," he said.

The Colts concluded the 2023 season with a 9-8 record. Gardner Minshew served as the starting QB in 13 games. Indianapolis signed last year's Comeback Player of the Year winner, Joe Flacco, in March to back up Richardson.

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