Rookie quarterback Anthony Richardson found himself at the center of controversy on Thursday night after a gesture that riled up Philadelphia fans.
During the preseason game against the Philadelphia Eagles, the Indianapolis Colts’ young QB celebrated a touchdown by mimicking the Eagles’ signature “Fly, Eagles, Fly” celebration. This act swiftly caught attention, igniting a wave of reactions on social media.
Anthony Richardson with an Eagles taunt after a preseason Touchdown
I absolutely love it pic.twitter.com/uea8YVFFEd
— Josh Norris (@JoshNorris) August 25, 2023
Post-game, Richardson offered an explanation but refrained from issuing an apology. “Sometimes when you get into the end zone, you just freeze up and don’t know what to do. So I was contemplating what I was going to do if I scored or if somebody else scored. So I ran down there and I was just flapping my arms and having fun,” Richardson said after the 27-13 win. “I hope nobody took it the wrong way. I was just balling, having fun out there, and enjoying it.”
Despite the gesture, it was just a preseason game, and Eagles fans might let it slide. On the professional front, Richardson, who previously played for the Florida Gators, has secured the starting spot for the Colts this season. In Thursday’s game, he made 6-of-17 passes and demonstrated his running capabilities with 38 rushing yards.
Colts rookie QB Anthony Richardson on doing "Fly, Eagles, fly" motion in Philadelphia: "I ran down there and I was just flapping my arms and having fun. I hope nobody took it the wrong way. I was just balling, having fun out there, and enjoying it.”https://t.co/mXaXzTPUkc pic.twitter.com/nPFEg0U3r4
— Around The NFL (@AroundTheNFL) August 25, 2023
Colts’ head coach Shane Steichen praised Richardson’s mobility, commenting, “Yeah, that’s one of his talents. To create those big plays outside the pocket.The scramble plays when guys are coming three-on-blitzes, obviously we’ve got to look at those and get those things picked up better. But just his ability to create outside the pocket is definitely going to help us.”
Richardson is set to make his regular-season debut when the Colts face off against the Jacksonville Jaguars on September 10.