The Indianapolis Colts have officially reported for training camp, and on Wednesday, they will hit the field for their first practice. Tuesday consisted of players reporting and members of the organization speaking with the media. Of course, that meant health updates for players that are dealing with injuries.
The player that everyone has been wondering about the most is star linebacker Shaquille Leonard. After playing just 74 snaps in 2022, and having two back surgeries in the last year, the timeline for Leonard’s return to the field was a mystery. However, everyone knew a clue would come when the team reported.
Fortunately, general manager Chris Ballard provided the good news that Shaquille Leonard passed his physical. That means the linebacker can start camp on the field. However, Ballard did make it clear that the Colts won’t just throw Leonard back into the fire, emphasizing that the team has a plan to ramp him up.
Shaquille Leonard passes physical but Colts will take him through a progression
While it would’ve been great if Leonard was full go from day one, the team taking him through a progression makes a ton of sense and shouldn’t be anything to worry about. As stated earlier, he’s coming off two back surgeries within a year, and has pretty much been away from the game for a while. Not going through the offseason program, the team will be smart about preparing Leonard’s body and getting his game back up to speed.
Leonard did recently share clips of him doing linebacker drills, so the assumption was that a return was near. Now that he has returned, it’ll be all about him progressing through the stages that Indy has for him, and eventually getting back to The Maniac; the best linebacker in football.
Ideally, Leonard will be able to swiftly move through the progressions and be back in the middle of Indy’s defense making plays. When the Colts kick the season off in Week 1, hopefully Leonard will be starting.