Practice Notebook

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Practice Notebook: Shaquille Leonard, Colts Near Decision On Week 4 Status vs. Tennessee Titans

Leonard has missed the first three games of the 2022 season. 

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Colts linebacker Shaquille Leonard on Thursday went in-depth on the process he's been working through to get back on the field over the last few weeks:

  • So practicing for four weeks, people gotta understand that first week, it was nothing but stiffness," Leonard said. "Second week, okay now let me see how I can cover ground. Third week, let me see how I can tackle, can I tackle in space, can I move left and right, can I do thinks that I know I'm supposed to do."
  • While Leonard has been listed as a full participant in practice for the last few weeks, the context provided here by the All-Pro linebacker is important. "Yes, I practiced full, but you gotta know in depth why am I practicing, why am I not playing," Leonard said. "Just know if I'm able to play, I'm out there and I'm gonna give it everything I got. But if I can't, y'all gotta respect that and I can't put this team in jeopardy of losing knowing I'm out there knowing that they're better with me standing on the sideline."
  • Leonard has done everything he can to get on the field as quick as possible following a June back procedure, but he's also had to be smart about his recovery and honest about where he's been at over the last few weeks.
  • "I'm going to say this because I've seen it all on social media: If I'm ready to go, I'm going to play," Leonard said. "Everybody know me. I mean, I went out there last year with one ankle. I love this game. I love this game with all my heart and I do anything to play this game for 100 years. So there's no such thing as me standing on the sideline just because of me.
    "So if I feel like I can play to the ability that I know I can play and help this team win, I'm gonna be out there. But if I think that my ability is putting the team in trouble, I gotta respect my decision to say okay, Zaire (Franklin)'s playing a whole lot faster, this defense would be better with me standing on the sideline. It's just me, I gotta look myself in the mirror and tell the coaches that. I'm just going to do everything in my will to be on the field each and every week. And when that time's come, I'm ready to rock and roll."
  • Leonard was listed as a full participant in Thursday's practice. The Colts have ruled Leonard out the Friday before each of their first three games; we'll learn tomorrow if Leonard will play, won't play or will be listed as questionable or doubtful.
  • When asked if he'll play this week, Leonard quipped: "We shall see."

Thursday's practice report:

  • Running back Jonathan Taylor (toe), who did not participate in Wednesday's practice, returned to the field on Thursday as a full participant and said his absence Wednesday was precautionary. "It's early in the year," Taylor said. "You always want to be safe rather than sorry."

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