After another back surgery, Shaquille Leonard’s 2022 season is over and the Indianapolis Colts have placed him on injured reserve.
After just three games, 94 snaps, 11 tackles, and one interception, Shaquille Leonard’s 2022 season is officially over. On Tuesday, the All-Pro linebacker had his second back surgery of the year as continues to try and resolve the nerve issue that has forced him to play with pain throughout his career. This comes after Leonard had a setback in practice during the week before Indy’s Week 10 game.
This surgery puts an end to a very tumultuous season for Leonard that never really got rolling. It all started during the offseason when Shaquille had his first back surgery in June. The expectation was that the first surgery would address Leonard’s lingering ankle issue and that he’d be able to be back to full strength and play the majority of the season. However, he actually missed all of training camp and didn’t play in a game until Week 4 against the Tennessee Titans.
Unfortunately, Leonard had to leave that game after suffering a broken nose and a concussion and he’d be sidelined again until Week 8. Playing in Week 8 and Week 9, Shaq recorded an interception against the Washington Commanders and it was starting to look like he was getting back to himself. But, now that process starts all over, and while it’s unfortunate for the present, it may benefit both Leonard and the Colts in the long term.
Colts sideline Shaquille Leonard after another back surgery
There’s no question that Leonard wanted to be on the field himself more than anyone else wanted him to be. However, it was clear that he wasn’t quite himself in his limited snaps. Although he was working hard to get back to his full form, he wasn’t quite The Maniac yet, and he admitted that. That’s why, even though it’s tough to hear that he’s having another surgery, it could ultimately be beneficial for Leonard to just take the time to get back to full strength.
Shaq will now have the rest of the season and all of the offseason to recover and rebuild and he won’t have to worry about trying to push his body too far to jump right back into the game. If everything goes well for Leonard, he should be able to benefit from a full offseason program and training camp and be ready for next season at full strength. In case anyone forgot, Leonard’s full strength is the best linebacker in football, and he earned that title while playing injured for the last few years.
He now has the opportunity to get completely healthy. That will benefit his career and the Colts as a team. In the meantime for Indianapolis, it will continue to benefit from the career years that Zaire Franklin and Bobby Okereke are having. They have been outstanding in filling the void that Leonard left and they will continue to do so until Shaquille Leonard is ready.