The Indianapolis Colts removed linebacker Shaquille Leonard from the PUP list, which means he’s eligible to practice right now with the team.
While Leonard may still be at least a few weeks away from making his regular season debut, as he ramps up his physical activity and conditioning, this is an encouraging update regarding the positive progress of his recovery from offseason back surgery.
Leonard may return to the football field sooner than initially expected—as it was starting to look like it may be a prolonged absence for the Colts’ 4x NFL All-Pro linebacker.
Even though his actual return still might be prolonged, it looks like the Colts’ medical staff believes Leonard could realistically return within the first four games of the regular season.
The Colts can expect contributions from their other linebackers to step up in Leonard’s absence, but there’s no real replacing the dynamic playmaker in the second level of their ‘Cover 3’ scheme—who’s one of the best defensive players overall in all of football, with a whopping 12 total takeaways last season.