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Chris Ballard: Anthony Richardson is in good shape, has a good throwing program

Anthony Richardson’s rookie year was cut short by a season-ending shoulder injury that required surgery.

But Richardson is on the mend and things seem encouraging for the No. 4 pick of the 2023 draft as the calendar heads toward March.

At the NFL scouting combine, General Manager Chris Ballard said the team is “really happy about where he’s at” when asked about Richardson’s rehab process.

“He started throwing, he’s on a rehab program,” Ballard said. “We’re not going to — like, I lived through the last one and I learned a lot of lessons living through the last one. Forgive me for being a little cautious. I know Anthony has made some statements that it’s important to be ahead of schedule. We’re here to pull the reins to make sure we don’t get too far ahead of schedule and we’re staying with whatever the doctors are telling us.

“But he’s in good shape, he’s throwing — he’s got a good throwing program. We’ve got good people working with him. I’m encouraged about where he’s at and where he’s going, and we’ll go from there.”

Entering the season, Colts officials had talked about it being important for Richardson to get some quality playing time for his development. But Richardson was available for just four games due to injury.

Still, Ballard said that he’s confident head coach Shane Steichen and the rest of Indianapolis’ staff can put Richardson in a position to be successful moving forward.

“[T]hey do a really good job with playing to the strengths of what a player can do,” Ballard said. “Of course, the more snaps you get as a player no matter what position you play in the league, but especially quarterback — the more snaps you get, the more you can put on their plate, the more experience they have, the more success they’ll have.

“Will the menu be as big as early whether he had played all of last year? I can’t say yay or nay because I’ll leave that on the staff but I do have a lot of confidence in them to — whatever they think he does well, that’s what we’ll do.”

In his four games, Richardson completed 60 percent of his throws for 577 yards with three touchdowns and one interception. He also rushed for 136 yards and four TDs.