Wednesday night, the Cleveland Browns shocked the NFL world by trading former first-round pick Trent Richardson to the Indianapolis Colts for a first-round draft pick in next year’s draft. Just how much will that affect the Colts’ next game against the San Francisco 49ers?
Colts head coach Chuck Pagano was asked Thursday how much Richardson will play against the 49ers and said,
“As much as he can handle.”
Richardson was given the playbook immediately and has already noticed some similarities to that of the Browns. This could mean he is in for a decent amount of carries.
Before the trade, the 49ers were preparing for a lot of Andrew Luck and maybe a bit of Ahmad Bradshaw and Donald Brown here and there. Now, they are having to prepare for a much better back that very well could get the bulk of the carries.
Obviously, the 49ers are favored to win the game. However, they will have to plan heavily around Richardson just in case. Luck will be active in the passing game now that his receiving core is even more improved with the addition of Darrius Heyward-Bey — assuming he’s healthy.
Reggie Wayne and T.Y. Hilton will see plenty of targets, so the 49ers must be ready for that. Getting to Luck with their front seven will be a big factor in the game overall. Stopping Richardson, of course, will be one of the main focuses. Aside from that, though, putting pressure on the sophomore quarterback will allow them the best chance to win.