Shaquille Leonard sends a strong message to anyone questioning his desire to rejoin the Colts on the field
Shaquille Leonard hasn’t played for the Indianapolis Colts this season but he’s hitting back at people questioning his desire to return.
The Indianapolis Colts have played three games this season and All-Pro linebacker, Shaquille Leonard, has been on the sideline for all three. Working his way back from an offseason back surgery, Leonard has been practicing with the Colts but he nor the team felt he was ready to go in any of the first three games.
Frank Reich explained that to the media last week when it was announced that Leonard would be out for the third straight week. In his reasoning, Reich explained that the team didn’t think Leonard was near his form from last season yet and also that Leonard himself didn’t quite feel ready at the moment. Unfortunately, the last part of the explanation became ammunition for people to question Shaq’s desire to return to the field.
Some interpreted it as Leonard making the decision to remain sidelined. Couple that with the footage of Shaquille Leonard running and jumping as he celebrated Indy’s Week 3 win, and some people foolishly assumed that Leonard was physically ready to go but was instead opting to sit out. As bizarre of a theory that is for a player with Leonard’s passion, the linebacker took time on Thursday to push back on any narratives that questioned how bad he wanted to be on the field.
Shaquille Leonard reassures fans that he’ll do anything to play with Colts
Honestly, it’s a shame that Leonard even had to say this. This is a guy who’s admitted that he hasn’t played pain-free football since his rookie season. Every time he’s on the field, he lays it all on the line for Indianapolis. It doesn’t make sense that anyone would even question how much he wants to be on the field with the Colts.
In reality, Leonard’s willingness to admit that he’s not all the way ready and that Zaire Franklin is currently a better option for the team is admirable. That takes a lot for a competitor of Shaquille’s nature to admit and it shows that he’s a real leader that cares about the success of the team.
Those same traits are also the things that make him a great linebacker and why the Colts miss having him on the field. However, as Leonard made clear, he’s still all in for the franchise and is doing everything he can to return to the field and also everything in his power to help with winning even though he’s sidelined. Whether that’s yelling and jumping or coaching the defense up about something he saw from the sidelines, Leonard is trying his best to contribute. In due time, he’ll return to the field where he can make his biggest contribution.