WESTFIELD, Ind. – It's been four practices now and Colts linebacker Shaquille Leonard is continuing to string encouraging days together.
The Colts put the pads on for the first time in training camp Monday, and Leonard took part in all but full-team 11-on-11 periods of practice. After Monday's practice, Leonard joined Jeffrey Gorman and Matt Taylor on "Training Camp Daily" on the Colts Audio Network to discuss his progress and the grueling rehab process – which he described as "awful" – he went through to get back on the field this summer.
"So far, so good," Leonard said. "I just continue to come out here and work on the small details of planting my feet, keeping everything inside my frame and when I do make contact, break my hips. It's been a while since I made contact, so gotta make sure I'm doing it properly instead of protecting my back."
Leonard also discussed with Taylor and Gorman the offseason sacrifices he had to make to get back on the field, and how everything he's gone through in the last year and a half has led him to appreciate every time he gets to take the field and play football.
"I don't even think I stopped smiling yet, just coming back out here with the guys and not having too much restriction, and just coming out and being me," Leonard said. "That's been the main thing. The coaches know it might look a little different from what it was before and they know I'm working through a lot of things. And it feels amazing to come out back out here and compete with the guys, run around, high fives, make contact, and just compete. That's just the biggest thing for me to to be able to compete instead of taking a knee or coaching up on the sideline."