New Update Raises Major Concern About Colts’ Shaquille Leonard

Shaquille Leonard, Colts
NFL Analysis Network

A lot of focus this offseason with the Indianapolis Colts has been put on the quarterback position, where they made a change for the fifth consecutive season. Matt Ryan, who was acquired from the Atlanta Falcons, will be replacing Carson Wentz, who was traded to the Washington Commanders.

But, a bigger issue has arisen in recent weeks. Star linebacker Shaquille Leonard, formerly known as Darius for the first four seasons of his NFL career, has been on the active/physically unable to perform list since training camp got underway about two weeks ago.

Leonard underwent back surgery in June to alleviate some pain that he was having throughout his lower body. He said that two discs were pressing on a nerve, contributing to the pain he was having in his legs and ankles last season. This follows ankle surgery that he had in the 2021 offseason, but he played through constant pain last season.

Despite the injury, Leonard still managed to play in 16 games for the Colts last season, earning Pro Bowl and All-Pro nominations. He led the league with eight forced fumbles and added 122 total tackles, four of which were for a loss, three quarterback hits, three fumble recoveries, eight passes defended and four interceptions.

Having him on the field is of the utmost importance for the Colts’ defense. While they did a good job of upgrading other areas, such as acquiring pass rusher Yannick Ngakoue in a trade with the Las Vegas Raiders and signing Stephon Gilmore, Leonard is their most important player on that side of the ball.

Unfortunately for Indianapolis, they don’t have an idea of when he will be back on the field. There is no set timetable for him to return, as the most recent update provided by Cameron Wolfe of NFL.com is that no timetable has been set but that the team expects him back on the field at some point.

That isn’t a very encouraging update, as things are left open-ended. Hopefully, Leonard can get back on the field sooner than later as replacing him in the lineup would be virtually impossible.