General manager Ryan Grigson suggested this week that Richardson is no longer on scholarship entering the 2014 season.
"Trent, he needs to answer the bell and do his job to the best of his ability," Grigson said, via ESPN.com's Mike Wells. "We're all accountable here.
"I will say this, there are a lot of backs last year that wouldn't have got (2.9) considering the amount of people he had in that box and the amount of bodies that were hitting him before he even seemed to get the ball sometimes. He's such a hard runner, we know how tough he is, but he's got to produce just like all these guys do on this final 53."
If there is a silver lining for Richardson's prospects, it's that he has shown glimpses of decisiveness and burst out of the shotgun. As the video to the right shows, he even made a defender whiff through the hole last week.
Coordinator Pep Hamilton is under pressure to maximize the strengths of his personnel and finally put the offense in Andrew Luck's hands with more spread looks this year. If that happens, it will soften the box, working to Richardson's benefit.