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After being placed on injured reserve, we are learning more about the nature of Anthony Richardson's shoulder injury. Last week, Adam Schefter tweeted, "Colts' QB Anthony Richardson is now expected to miss four to eight weeks, depending on his rehab and whether or not he still would need surgery on his right shoulder, per source. By placing him on IR today, the Colts are giving him time so nothing can, or has to be, rushed." So, we will have to wait. Ian Rapoport tweeted a discouraging update Sunday morning, "The #Colts may have to wait until 2024 to see more of QB Anthony Richardson. Sources say season-ending surgery is being strongly considered, perhaps the best option to fix his shoulder long-term." Monday, Stephen Holder reported on a conversation he had with owner, Jim Irsay. Irsay said that Richardson is "probably" done for the season. Indianapolis has little chance at the playoffs with Gardner Minshew under center, but the team is rightly focused on getting Richardson healthy above all else.
Justin Fields left Sunday's loss to Minnesota after he hurt his thumb. X-rays were negative, according to multiple reports. Fields popped his thumb back into place and tried to return to the game but could not grip the ball. He will undergo more testing this week to identify the severity of the injury but is unlikely to play this week. It might take a few weeks for Fields to regain his full grip on the football. We will continue to monitor the injury and keep you updated.
Deshaun Watson's shoulder surgery has been a mystery. He was medically cleared to return to the field two weeks ago but still has not played. Long-time beat reporter Mary Kay Cabot was on the Pat McAfee show last week to talk about Watson. She told McAfee that Watson has a bruised rotator cuff and that there is no structural damage to his shoulder. Cabot wrote about the injury in a Cleveland.com article. She wrote, "A strain is different than a full or partial tear in that it can usually heal on its own without surgery, even if it involves a micro-tear. If it's determined that Watson does need surgery — and that doesn't appear to be the case at this time — he'd likely be lost for the season. The Browns will give him all the time he needs to heal so the injury doesn't linger or affect him moving forward throughout the season. Watson is now mostly rehabbing the shoulder with minimal throwing. He rested during the bye week and didn't appear outside for practice all week while fourth-year pro P.J. Walker, who will start against the 49ers, took the first-team reps … Ideally, the Browns would like to have Watson back for next week's game in Indianapolis, but they're not going to rush it by any stretch. One noted orthopedic surgeon told cleveland.com that a bruised rotator cuff is normally a two-to-six-week injury, depending on the severity of the contusion. Sunday will mark three weeks for Watson, and he could possibly need up to another month to truly feel like himself. Or, the shoulder might respond well to comprehensive treatment and he could be back sooner." There are two salient points to this great reporting: 1). the extent of the injury is still not fully known, and 2) there is still a chance that Watson will not return this season. Saturday night, Adam Schefter tweeted a different diagnosis, "Deshaun Watson is dealing with a deep rotator cuff contusion that has made it difficult for him to drive the football when he throws, but there is a belief that the Browns' QB could be ready to play as soon as next Sunday against the Colts, per sources." We will take the pessimistic view and say that Watson may not be healthy for a few weeks … even if he plays. P.J. Walker did not fare any better than rookie Dorian Thompson-Robinson, even though the Browns upset the 49ers. This team needs a healthy Watson playing well in order to have much of a chance for a deep playoff run. The defense is playing well, and the offense needs Watson, especially with Nick Chubb lost for the year.
After wide receiver Justin Jefferson suffered his hamstring injury, it was speculated that the Vikings could trade quarterback Kirk Cousins. Saturday, Adam Schefter tweeted an update, "Vikings' QB Kirk Cousins is expected to remain in Minnesota this season and will not look to waive the no-trade clause in his contract — short of changing unforeseen circumstances." So, for now, expect Cousins to remain the starter. It is an intriguing situation as Cousins is a free agent after the season and could garner more in a trade now than what Minnesota would receive in compensation for permitting their quarterback to leave in free agency.
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