Colts in good shape even without QB Anthony Richardson

First and foremost, the Colts have a very capable backup signal-caller in Gardner Minshew.

The 27-year-old signed with Indianapolis in March after playing five games last season for the Philadelphia Eagles. Minshew made two starts in place of an injured Jalen Hurts in 2022 and has a career touchdown-to-interception ratio of more than 3:1 (46:15) across 37 games, including 25 starts.

The 2019 sixth-round pick has appeared in all five games for the Colts this season due to Richardson’s multitude of injuries, going 57-for-83 with 553 passing yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions for a 95.1 quarterback rating. Minshew doesn’t have the athleticism or rushing ability that his younger counterpart possesses, but it’s no coincidence that the team is 3-0 this season when he takes the majority of the snaps (and 0-2 when Richardson does).

The No. 4 overall pick out of Florida has shown glimpses of greatness early in his career, and if he can stay healthy, he’s clearly the quarterback of the future in Indianapolis. Colts fans probably couldn’t ask for a better leader under center to in the meantime though.

Other factors that should keep Indianapolis competitive in the AFC South are Minshew’s offensive weapons and the team’s upcoming schedule.

The Colts have a solid WR1 in former second-round pick Michael Pittman Jr., who, despite a couple of down games in recent weeks, still leads the team in targets (46), receptions (31) and receiving yards (297), while scoring one touchdown as well. Behind Pittman is rookie third-round pick Josh Downs, who is coming off of his best game in the Week 5 win over the Tennessee Titans with six catches on six targets for 97 yards.

Where Minshew could get the most help during his upcoming stretch as the starter is in the backfield, where Indianapolis all of a sudden looks to have a solid tandem of running backs.

Now that he got his pay day, former rushing champion Jonathan Taylor seems to have mended his relationship with the organization. In addition to the 2021 Pro Bowler, former Buffalo Bill Zack Moss has been one of the best backs in the game over the last month. Moss ranks second in rushing yards per game (111.3) and third in both rushing attempts (89) and rushing yards (445), while adding three touchdowns on the ground and one through the air as well.

The Colts are tied with the Jacksonville Jaguars atop the division at 3-2, with both the Houston Texans and Tennessee Titans at 2-3. Indianapolis travels to Jacksonville for a Week 6 matchup at 1 p.m. ET on Sunday, with Minshew getting a chance at a “revenge game.”

The Colts then have back-to-back home games against the Cleveland Browns and New Orleans Saints, before taking on the free-falling Carolina Panthers and New England Patriots on the road in Weeks 9 and 10. Indianapolis has a Week 11 bye, and based on the estimated timeline, Richardson could be returning to action around that time.

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