Friday, August 5, 2022

Frank Reich provides information about Shaquille Leonard rehab: “He’s doing great”

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As the Indianapolis Colts make daily progress in training camp on offense with new quarterback Matt Ryan and three rookies selected on Day 2 of the 2022 NFL Draft, the team patiently awaits the return of linebacker Shaquille Leonard to the defensive end.

You will wait a little longer.

Colts head coach Frank Reich gave a positive update on Leonard’s progress during an Aug. 3 news conference, telling reporters “he’s doing great.” But Reich also couldn’t give a firm date for Leonard’s return.

“He really got into it on the field and adhered schematically to what we’re doing,” Reich said. “I’m staying really aligned with the team and the lads and everything and I know he’s continuing his good rehab – he’s made progress but we’re still not in that mode.

“I don’t think it’s imminent but I think he’s making progress.”

Leonard underwent back surgery on June 7th. The Colts put him on the PUP list to begin training camp on July 24th.

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When Leonard underwent surgery on June 7, Reich didn’t sound very confident that the linebacker would be ready for training camp, telling reporters Leonard would definitely miss “some time at training camp.”

About a week later, writer Zak Keefer staffed by the athlete had a more positive prognosis, reporting that Leonard could return just before the start of training camp.

But as the Colts begin their second full week in training camp, it doesn’t appear that Leonard Keefer’s more positive recovery schedule is following suit.

With no return imminent, it will soon be worth wondering if Leonard will be back before Indianapolis’ first preseason game. The Colts will visit the Buffalo Bills for their first game of the 2022-23 season on August 13.

It’s no big deal if Leonard doesn’t play in all three preseason games, but the Colts would likely want the linebacker to get a few game snaps in new defensive coordinator Gus Bradley’s system ahead of the regular season.

After visiting Buffalo, Indianapolis hosts the Detroit Lions on August 20 and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on August 27 to wrap up the preseason.

Leonard may not have returned to practice just yet and likely won’t have an ideal number of snaps this preseason, but fans can still be happy that he’s making progress. The Colts will not play a game that matters for another five and a half weeks.

Since Leonard had surgery around two months ago, there has been no sign that he will miss any games in the regular season.

Leonard made his third first-team All Pro last year, recording 122 combined tackles and 8 forced fumbles, which are league-leading. He starred in 2021 after undergoing off-season surgery last July and he was still less than 100% per cent, leading to more surgeries this summer.

since 2018, Leonard is the only player with 10+ sacks and 10 interceptions. It’s scary to imagine what he might be doing if he were perfectly sane in 2022.

Since Leonard had surgery around two months ago, there has been no sign that he will miss any games in the regular season.

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