At the beginning of the 2023 season, Gardner Minshew was expected to be the backup quarterback for the Indianapolis Colts. He would mentor rookie Anthony Richardson, only taking over the reins if Richardson could not play.
As it turns out, the latter happened five weeks into the season. Richardson was lost for the year with a sprained AC joint in his throwing shoulder. The keys to the offense were turned over to Minshew, who would have to keep the ship steady. Minshew did just that for most of the season, helping lead the Colts to a 9-8 record and just missing out on a playoff berth in the AFC.
For his play during the 2023 season, Minshew is being rewarded. The NFL announced on Tuesday that Minshew was named to the 2024 AFC Pro Bowl roster. Minshew will join teammates Quenton Nelson, DeForest Buckner, and Ryan Kelly as the four Colts representatives at the Pro Bowl Games in Orlando, Fla.
The Pro Bowl nomination is the first of Minshew’s five-year career. In 17 games (13 starts), Minshew went 305-of-490 (62.2%) for 3,305 yards, 15 touchdowns, and nine interceptions for a QB rating of 84.6. Minshew also rushed for 100 yards and three touchdowns on the season.
Minshew set career highs in completions, attempts, and yards in 2023. Head coach Shane Steichen expressed his appreciation for everything Minshew did for the team this season.
“What (Minshew) did for us was tremendous,” Steichen said. “He stepped in and won us, what, eight or nine games and a couple plays away from hosting a playoff game. Again, I was very, very grateful and thankful that he was here with this football team for sure.”
The Pro Bowl nod is beneficial for Minshew in terms of his future contract as well. A free agent in March, Minshew and his agent can now shop around for a better deal as a Pro Bowl quarterback. The Colts will likely be one of those teams interested in Minshew as they entertain bringing him back in 2024.
2023 was a wild year for the Colts and even wilder for Minshew. Even when the season is over, Minshew Mania never stops.