Indianapolis Colts All-Pro linebacker Darius Leonard underwent back surgery on Tuesday and is expected to miss some training camp time, according to Joel A. Erickson, a Colts writer for IndyStar.
Darius Leonard is not here. He has a back issue, he’s going to have surgery on his back, will miss camp time.— Joel A. Erickson (@JoelAErickson) June 7, 2022
While it’s currently uncertain exactly how much time the All-Pro linebacker will miss, head coach Frank Reich mentioned that the back issue had progressed and eventually led to Leonard needing the procedure.
“He’s had a back issue that’s been a progressive thing that started early in the offseason and was fine, but it’s been something that’s progressed,” Reich said, via the IndyStar. “We just made the evaluation, consulting with Darius, doctors, trainers, he’s going to have a procedure done on his back.”
According to Reich, the Colts will monitor Leonard but the early impression is that he’ll be ready to go for the start of the regular season.
“He’ll miss some training camp time,” Reich said. “But if all goes according to plan, he should be ready to go for the regular season.”
Leonard had already been dealing with a lingering ankle injury, which the Colts plan on taking cautionary measures since he had battled this same injury through most of the 2021 season.
Reich also said Tuesday that Leonard’s ankle issue won’t require a second surgery, which is a good sign as the team will continue to monitor the injury.
“We continue to monitor his ankle,” Reich said. “He is not going to need a second procedure.”
Despite dealing with the nagging ankle injury, the star linebacker accounted for more than a third of the defense’s 33 turnovers in 2021, producing 122 combined tackles, four interceptions and a career-high eight forced fumbles through 16 games.
Leonard has been a cornerstone of the Colts’ defense since being drafted in 2018, earning four All-Pro selections and holding the franchise record for most tackles in a single season with 155.