Update (1 p.m. ET): The Indianapolis Colts have officially ruled out QB Anthony Richardson for Sunday's Week 3 game against the Baltimore Ravens. Backup quarterback Gardner Minshew will start for the Colts at M&T Bank Stadium. Kick-off is scheduled for 1 p.m. ET barring any weather delay.
The undefeated Baltimore Ravens (2-0) will try to put a third consecutive victory together (beat Houston in Week 1, then Cincinnati in Week 2) in what should be a very promising start to a season that has looked so bad on (injury report) paper.
The Indianapolis Colts released their latest injury report following Thursday's practice and things aren't looking good for Indy entering Week 3... or are they?
There is one quarterback listed with concussion symptoms in the injury report, rookie passer Anthony Richardson, but the backup of the Colts at the position, veteran Gardner Minshew, is nowhere to be found on Thursday's report.
Of course, the Colts are coming off a draft in which they spent the fourth-overall pick on the player they want to become the leader of the franchise for the next couple of decades, so not having him available just two weeks into the season is a bummer.
That being said, Minshew is far from a bad quarterback, and he could in fact be the absolute best reserve passer in the NFL these days.
Richardson has missed back-to-back practices after being ruled out of last Sunday's 31-20 victory of the Colts over the Texans. Earlier this week Indianapolis Head Coach Shane Steichen didn't want to reveal much information, simply saying Richardson was "in the concussion protocol."
With injury reports dropping on Wednesday and Thursday, the Colts simply couldn't hide Richardson's situation anymore, and with the quarterback missing back-to-back days of practice and mere hours between now and kick-off, it's hard to see the freshman tossing the rock as the starter next Sunday at Baltimore.
If Richardson misses Week 3, then it'll be Minshew Mania time in Maryland come Sunday (weather allowing).
Minshew took over the game in relief of Richardson after the rookie left Week 2 with a bunch of carries and two rushing touchdowns to his name already. The veteran tossed 23 passes of which he completed 19 for a smooth 82.2% completion rate.
The backup racked up 171 yards on those 19 completions including throwing for a touchdown on the day, adding three yards rushing at Houston.
Minshew already played in Week 1 as Richardson was also forced out of that game with another different injury. The veteran tossed only a couple of passes back then, of which he completed none through a measly three snaps in relief.
Last year, Minshew was a member of the Philadelphia Eagles (same as current Colts HC Steichen) and he started the last two regular-season games for the Eagles.
Minshew completed 24-of-40 passes in Week 16 and then 18-of-32 one week later in the regular-season finale. He passed for a ridiculous 355 and 274 yards respectively, throwing three touchdowns and three interceptions in those two games combined. He also scored one rushing touchdown at Dallas in Week 16. Both games ended in losses.
Ravens Head Coach John Harbaugh told reporters (h/t Clifton Brown of BaltimoreRavens.com) at the start of the week that Baltimore would "have to prepare for both" quarterbacks given "they're just a little bit different in what plays they run."
Obviously, Baltimore has never faced rookie QB Anthony Richardson before and won't probably do until next year at the very least given his precarious situation. That's not the case against Minshew, however, who already confronted the Ravens in 2020 when he was still a member of the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Minshew, who entered the league as a sixth-round pick, started a game against the Ravens back in Dec. 2020 as Jacksonville went on to lose 14-40 at M&T Bank Stadium. Minshew completed 22-of-29 passes for 226 yards and two touchdowns against a lost fumble but no interceptions.
Minshew Mania started way before that game, of course, and the arrival of wunderkind Trevor Lawrence in Jacksonville ended Minshew's tenure in Florida. Minshew, however, was good enough to carve himself a backup role in the league spending two years in Philly and now playing for the Colts.
The veteran, playing his age-27 season, has a career record of 8-16 in the games he's started while completing 605-of-958 passes for 6,803 yards and 45 TDs (against just 15 INTs) through 34 total games played.