3 Massive Questions Facing Indianapolis Colts For 2024 NFL Season

Anthony Richardson, Indianapolis Colts
Kelly Wilkinson/IndyStar / USA TODAY NETWORK

The Indianapolis Colts had a roller-coaster ride of a 2023 NFL campaign. They lost rookie quarterback Anthony Richardson to a season-ending shoulder injury very early in the year and then saw Gardner Minshew nearly take them to the playoffs.

The Colts ended up finishing 9-8 and failing to qualify for the postseason after losing to the Houston Texans in a winner-take-all game for the AFC South in Week 18, and now, Indianapolis will enter 2024 full of uncertainties.

Indy can still absolutely make a run at the playoffs, but there is no clear path to the club’s success. It will depend on a lot of factors, and we will break those key questions down right now.

How will the receiving corps shape up?

The Colts quietly boast one of the deepest stables of wide receivers in the NFL heading into next season.

They re-signed Michael Pittman Jr. in free agency and have holdovers Josh Downs and Alec Pierce. They also added University of Texas standout Adonai Mitchell in the second round of the NFL Draft, which was viewed as a major steal by many.

The question is, what will the depth chart look like behind Pittman?

Downs hauled in 68 receptions in 2023, so one might say he has earned the right to be Indianapolis’ No. 2 receiver come September. However, Mitchell may actually stand a chance of stealing the job from him at some point in 2024. As a matter of fact, Indy may prefer that, as Downs is really just a slot receiver.

Mitchell, on the other hand, has terrific size and projects to be a legitimate outside threat.

Will a full season of Grover Stewart fix the run defense?

Defensive tackle Grover Stewart was suspended for six games last season for violating the NFL’s performance-enhancing drugs policy, and his absence was noticeable.

The Colts were gashed for over 153 rushing yards per game while surrendering 4.7 yards per carry in the contests Stewart missed in 2023. When he was on the field, however, those numbers dipped to just over 107 rushing yards per game and 3.7 yards per attempt.

That right there shows you just how valuable Stewart is to Indianapolis, but it also reveals how vulnerable the team’s run defense is without him.

Overall, Indy ranked 24th in the NFL in rushing defense last season, which isn’t impressive regardless of how you spin it.

The Colts did some Raekwon Davis in free agency to add some depth to the interior, so perhaps that will help rectify the issue. But the fact that Indianapolis was so reliant on Stewart in 2023 is fairly concerning.

Still, so long as Stewart remains healthy (and he has always been pretty durable), it looks like the Colts’ run defense should at least be respectable this coming season.

What should we expect from Anthony Richardson?

Richardson played in just four games during a rookie campaign that was littered with injuries.

He sustained a concussion in Week 2, which sidelined him for the following game. Then, in Week 5, Richardson suffered the shoulder injury that concluded his season.

When he was on the field, the 22-year-old flashed immense talent, but his reckless play style has led some to question if he will leave himself open to more injuries in the future.

Richardson has insisted that he won’t change his technique, which is admirable, but also somewhat worrisome. There is no reason for him to take any unnecessary hits.

One can even look at the 2024 season as Richardson’s rookie year. After all, he barely even played in 2023, so he didn’t really get to develop any sort of consistent rapport with his teammates. Not in terms of in-game action, anyway.

The Colts’ offense is definitely talented. We already talked about the receivers, and they also lay claim to one of the league’s best running backs in Jonathan Taylor, plus an up and coming tight end in Jelani Woods.

So, Richardson absolutely has support. But can he actually deliver, and can he stay healthy?

The University of Florida product has the potential to become one of the NFL’s best signal-callers. We just need to see him put it all together.

Want the latest NFL analysis, breaking news, and insider information? Click here. Interested in reading storylines and analysis about the NBA? Check out our partner NBA Analysis Network.

Anthony Richardson, Colts Land Brutal Take From NFL Analyst

Anthony Richardson and the Indianapolis Colts are entering a 2024 NFL campaign full of hope after the team went 9-8 last season, largely without Richardson.

Tennessee Titans QB Will Levis Earns Ominous Prediction For 2024

With the No. 33 pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, the Tennessee Titans selected quarterback Will Levis. When he was thrust into the starting lineup

New Jaguars Playmaker Lands Brutal Prediction For 2024

The Jacksonville Jaguars lost No. 1 wide receiver Calvin Ridley in free agency this offseason, but they replaced him by signing fellow wide out Gabe