Colts GM Chris Ballard met with fellow team reporters for his annual training camp presser Monday afternoon. Ballard talked about many things, but noted a few injuries to some, as well as a few players who will be ready by the start of camp, during the conference.
According to Colts’ reporter Zak Keefer and Ballard, linebacker Darius Leonard had a “small procedure on his ankle” and will miss some early practices. Ballard vows the team will monitor him. “He’s a vet. [He’ll] be ready.”
Injury news:— Zak Keefer (@zkeefer) July 26, 2021
Marlon Mack, Kemoko Turay and Parris Campbell are all 100% and good to go to start camp.
LB Darius Leonard had a "small procedure on his ankle" and will miss some early practices. Ballard vows the team will monitor him. "He’s a vet. ll be ready."
Leonard, a 2x All-Pro, missed two games for the team last season. It’s very likely that the ankle injury played a role in the linebackers short absences last season. With the superstar set to miss a few practices, that should allow for second and third-string players to get a few more reps than normal.
Why bring that up, you might ask? Well, as of now, I’m not so certain the Colts have a definitive starter at the SAM linebacker position. While this team needs as many full reps with starters as possible, we could see a backup catch a coaches eye in Leonard’s absence, which could help the team make a more clear decision for its starting SAM linebacker. Perhaps a player who may stand out has more of the traits which are necessary for that specific role.
Based on reports from Keefer and Ballard, it sounds like Leonard will be back with the team in the near future.
The Colts are certainly going to need Leonard to be 100% healthy, as he has been one of their best, all-around players and leaders since being drafted in 2018. Some might even say this defense goes as Leonard does. “The Maniac,” as fans and teammates call him, brings a ton of energy and plays such a significant role for not just the defense, but the entire team in general.