Now winners of three of their last four games; the Colts know all too well what’s at stake ahead of Sunday’s game against the Tennessee Titans.
Just ask All-Pro linebacker Darius Leonard, who classified Sunday’s game as a ‘must-win’ during a press conference with local media members on Thursday.
“I normally don’t say any game is a must-win game. But this is a must-win game,” Leonard said.
According to Stephen Holder, a writer for The Athletic, Leonard also mentioned that his ankle, which has been bothering him all season, is “about 80 percent better.”
Darius Leonard drops by for his weekly presser:— Stephen Holder (@HolderStephen) October 28, 2021
"I normally don't say any game is a must-win game. But this is a must-win game."
Despite dealing with the nagging ankle injury, Leonard has still forced a turnover in each of the last four games. His two interceptions and two forced fumbles currently lead the team as well.
While the Pro Bowl linebacker may not be as efficient in terms of tackles and sacks, the rate at which he is forcing turnovers has played a crucial role during the Colts’ 2-game winning streak.
Not only is Leonard getting healthier, but so is the rest of the team. For the first time since Week 2, right tackle Braden Smith was a full participant during Thursday’s practice, which is a great sign regarding his availability for Sunday.
Defensive end Kemoko Turay and cornerback Rock Ya-Sin, both of whom have missed time with different injuries over the last couple of games, were also full participants on Thursday.
Sunday’s game could perhaps be the healthiest we’ve seen the Colts all season, and given the magnitude of the matchup, it couldn’t come at a more important time.
Both teams are currently on 2-game winning streaks and are looking to keep that going as we near the halfway point of the season.
With games against both the New York Jets and Jacksonville Jaguars on the horizon, a win Sunday for the Colts could be a major turning point going forward and help define the rest of their season.