Did Shaq Leonard take a shot at the Colts after his first win with the Eagles?

Following a big win for the Philadelphia Eagles, some people think linebacker Shaq Leonard took a shot at his former team, the Indianapolis Colts.
New York Giants v Philadelphia Eagles
New York Giants v Philadelphia Eagles / Adam Hunger/GettyImages

Former Indianapolis Colts linebacker Shaquille Leonard is now playing with the Philadelphia Eagles, and on Monday, Philly got their first win since Leonard joined the team. Starting at linebacker in the game, Leonard had his best game as an Eagle, and possibly his best game of the season, regardless of team.

He led Philadelphia with seven total tackles, five solo, two for a loss, and even recorded his first sack since the 2020 season. Early in the game, Leonard’s contagious energy was on full display, as he was flying downhill, making multiple plays behind the line of scrimmage and from sideline to sideline. Some even argued that it was the best game by an Eagles linebacker this season.

Following the game, Leonard knew he had a good outing, as he explained to the media that he’s getting more comfortable and finding his groove. He also made sure to send a message to the doubters, saying, “They wrote me off, talked down on my name. I’m here to prove it, prove I can still play, prove I can still make plays.”

Despite not ever naming the Colts or Indianapolis, a few people decided to jump to the conclusion that Leonard was taking a shot at his former team. Since the Colts cut him, people assumed that his comments were targeted at Indianapolis.

Shaq Leonard proving he can still play after being wrote off

Regardless of those reports, Leonard didn’t take a direct shot at Indianapolis and it’s a bit irresponsible to claim that his statement was about the Colts. The truth is that a lot of people did write Leonard off and are still writing him off as there are several accounts in comment sections across social media platforms exclaiming that Leonard is washed. By saying “they,” Leonard is likely speaking of the proverbial they, referring to all the naysayers that believe he has nothing else to offer.

Athletes, and people in general, use “they” all the time when referring to a group of doubters, without directing comments at any specific person. There’s no need to twist Leonard’s words to make it seem like he’s trying to dog out the Colts. Everyone witnessed in real time how well he handled being surprisingly waived in the middle of the season. Leonard carried out his charity obligations in Indianapolis on the same day of his release and attended Indy’s next game as a fan. Why even try to change the narrative?

And let’s be real. Even if Leonard did call out the Colts by name and “took a shot” at them, would he really be wrong for saying that he’s on a path to prove that he’s still a quality player? He’s a competitor, playing at the highest level. Him wanting to prove that he still belongs isn’t problematic and it doesn’t make him a bad guy.