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Why Shane Steichen remains confident in Anthony Richardson's future after season-ending shoulder surgery

Even in limited action, Steichen saw plenty of encouraging things from the 2023 No. 4 overall pick. 

The Colts and Anthony Richardson extensively evaluated their options to address the rookie quarterback's injured shoulder, and on Wednesday Colts Owner and CEO Jim Irsay announced the 2023 No. 4 overall pick would undergo season-ending surgery.

The Colts and Richardson focused on the big picture while deciding on the best course of action, with Richardson's longevity needing "to be at a premium," head coach Shane Steichen said Wednesday.

"Going through that process and talking to all the doctors, getting as much information as we could, this is the best thing for him and this franchise moving forward so we can get him healthy for next season," Steichen said.

So Richardson's rookie season will end after four starts. Richardson completed 50 of 84 passes for 577 yards with three touchdowns, one interception and 136 rushing yards on 25 attempts along with four rushing scores.

But beyond those numbers were plenty of things Richardson did that impressed Steichen both on and off the field. Steichen said he saw Richardson make "tremendous progress" after arriving in Indianapolis in April.

"I thought when he played, he was explosive and he was electric," Steichen said. "He gives us an opportunity every time he steps on the field to win football games. But his big play ability throwing the ball down the field, the runs that he had, four touchdown runs in the limited time he played. There is tremendous opportunity for him going forward in this franchise."

Off the field, Richardson was voted by his teammates one of the Colts' seven season-long captains, and his gregarious personality and dedicated work ethic endeared him to his new team's locker room.

"I think his character and the person he is, his teammates all relate to him," Steichen said. "Great leader, great teammate. Guys had his back this whole time and they'll have his back through this whole process as well."

Steichen said Richardson will remain engaged around the Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center in the coming months, attending meetings and practices with the mindset of "act like you're playing."

"This will be a great learning experience for him moving forward," Steichen said. "He'll be engaged, he'll be in the meetings, he'll be at practice and he'll learn this year. Sitting back and watching and learning — I think in the long run, I think with anything, when you go through tough times it'll make you stronger. And this is a tough time for any player, obviously your rookie year you want to be out there with his teammates. I know he's crushed about it too. But I think it'll help make him stronger in the long run."

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