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What we learned from Colts minicamp: Anthony Richardson's work limited

INDIANAPOLIS — Colts starting quarterback Anthony Richardson was examined by trainers for the second consecutive day of the team’s mandatory minicamp on Wednesday.

Richardson, who used a foam roller on his back during Tuesday’s session before returning to the session, participated in at least one 7-on-7 period and one 11-on-11 period Wednesday.

But he also met with the trainers, who appeared to take a look at his right shoulder, and he did not take the full complement of starting snaps. Veteran backup Joe Flacco worked with the starters on offense for several periods, including a long two-minute drill at the end of practice.

Indianapolis head coach Shane Steichen was not available to discuss Richardson’s workload on Wednesday; the Colts coach is scheduled to be available on Thursday.

The Colts have said previously that there are no tight restrictions on Richardson’s throwing as he recovers from season-ending shoulder surgery to repair the damage done by a sprained AC joint in his throwing shoulder.

But Richardson has acknowledged he has some rough days.

“Every day’s different for me,” Richardson said. “Some days I feel amazing, and then some days I wake up, I’m like ‘Dang, my shoulder’s a little achy.’”

Richardson and the rest of the starting offense had a tough period in the one 11-on-11 session he played.

The Colts starter opened with a completion to Jonathan Taylor in the flat, but he was “sacked” by DeForest Buckner on his second play, fired incomplete on the right sideline to Adonai Mitchell against tight coverage from Jaylon Jones and ended up “sacked” by defensive tackle Taven Bryan on his fourth snap.

Richardson did not leave the field after he left the lineup, remaining on the field with his helmet, talking to teammates and offering encouragement after rough plays.

Crossing them up

Third-year safety Nick Cross is locked in one of the biggest position battles of the offseason, a fight with Rodney Thomas II for the starting free safety job.

“As much competition as we can have, we feel that will raise the bar with that group,” defensive coordinator Gus Bradley said. “We’re just keeping it as competitive as we can right now.”

Cross finished off Wednesday’s practice by making a splash.

Working with the No. 2 defense — Cross and Thomas have been rotating with the starting defense in the offseason practices open to the media — in a two-minute drill, Cross read a downfield throw from Sam Ehlinger perfectly, stepped in front of the receiver and picked off the pass.

Cross took off for a few steps in direction of the opposite end zone, realized it was an end-of-game situation and slid to a stop, ending the two-minute drill after just two plays.

The Indianapolis defense dominated Wednesday’s session, collapsing the pocket, forcing incompletinos and making plays on the ball.

Rookie linebacker Jaylon Carlies batted down a pass from Flacco in 11-on-11, and on the second play of the two-minute drill for the starters, veteran strong safety Julian Blackmon knocked down a 50-50 ball from Flacco to Kylen Granson, setting the tone for a drive where Flacco completed 4 of 10 throws, repeatedly pushing the ball down the field.

Early returns

Fifth-round pick Anthony Gould was drafted primarily for his return abilities, but the Colts also believe Gould has the speed to be a deep threat in the offense.

The speed was on display Wednesday.

While the Indianapolis defense dominated the day, the offense’s best play in 11-on-11 drills was a throw from Flacco to Gould, who knifed through the middle of the Indianapolis secondary and hauled in a deep ball from the strong-armed veteran.

Not all of Gould’s day was perfect.

In the team’s two-minute drill, the No. 1 offense’s best chance at scoring was another deep throw from Flacco to Gould, who was streaking away from coverage towards the left sideline.

Flacco put the ball on Gould’s face mask, but the rookie dropped the ball.

Roll call

Second-year safety Michael Tutsie, an Indianapolis native who played at Warren Central, was forced to leave the practice due to an injury.

Veteran wide receivers Michael Pittman Jr. (knee), Alec Pierce (undisclosed) and Ashton Dulin (recovery from torn ACL) were all held out of practice, as well as free safety Daniel Scott (torn Achilles), cornerback Chris Lammons (left leg), cornerback Ameer Speed (undisclosed), right tackle Braden Smith (recovery from offseason knee surgery) and defensive end Genard Avery (knee recovery).

Quick hitters

Tyler Goodson, Dallis Flowers, Gould, Trey Sermon, Josh Downs, Ethan Fernea, Evan Hull and Kenny Moore II were given chances to return kicks as the Colts worked on the NFL's new kickoff format. … Fernea caught a deep touchdown from Flacco in 7-on-7 drills. … Goodson and Hull each had multiple catches from the running back position.

This article originally appeared on Indianapolis Star: What we learned from Colts minicamp: Anthony Richardson's work limited