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Can the Colts still make the playoffs with Anthony Richardson out for the season?

Indianapolis will be without the rookie QB for the rest of the 2023 season. At 3-3, the Colts can still compete for the playoffs - but is that realistic? We take a look.

Indianapolis Colts v Jacksonville Jaguars Photo by Mike Carlson/Getty Images

Indianapolis Colts quarterback Anthony Richardson is reportedly scheduling a season-ending surgery to repair his injured AC joint. Richardson has been on injured reserve since Week 5, and will likely miss the remainder of 2023. The fourth overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, Richardson had a promising start to his rookie year, passing for three touchdowns and rushing for four over his first four starts and throwing just one interception.

The Colts are 3-3. Can they still reach the playoffs without Richardson? Backup Gardner Minshew has been filling in for Richardson and has passed for three touchdowns and three interceptions so far this season. The Colts will struggle to separate themselves from the pack in the AFC South without Richardson — they’re competing against a Jacksonville Jaguars team that won the division last year and a Houston Texans team that has done a full pivot with CJ Stroud at the helm.

The Colts have +235 odds to make the playoffs at DraftKings Sportsbook, and are tied with the Titans at +650 to win the AFC South, behind the Jags and Texans. Even with star running back Jonathan Taylor back, the Colts’ chances of making the playoffs are looking very slim.

Their schedule isn’t particularly challenging, but they’ll face the Browns, Bengals, Buccaneers, Patriots, and Texans before the season is over. It’s not an impossible feat that lies ahead, but it will be a very challenging one with Minshew under center.