clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

‘Everyone’s raving’ about Colts LB Shaquille Leonard’s recovery from 2nd back surgery

There’s been encouraging signs so far at Colts camp regarding Shaq Leonard being back to his ole’ Maniac self.

NFL: AUG 01 Indianapolis Colts Training Camp Photo by Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

According to The MMQB’s Albert Breer, everyone around Colts camp has been ‘raving’ about former NFL All-Pro linebacker Shaquille Leonard’s recovery from a second back surgery to finally correct a lingering nerve issue in his lower half:

“Everyone’s raving about Shaq Leonard’s comeback from a debilitating back injury in 2023, as early returns are that he looks phenomenal and is playing free after a really difficult 2022,” writes Breer.

“Leonard was a 5 a.m. regular at the Colts facility in the spring, which allowed him to get his rehab in, and still be around for all of Indy’s team stuff. And that he looks so good is great news for a team that lost Bobby Okereke in the offseason. Also, Zaire Franklin really played well in Leonard’s absence last year, and has had a really nice offseason.”

Despite the Colts initially indicating that Leonard would be limited to begin training camp—as the team would take a cautious approach with its star linebacker, Leonard has nearly been a full participant in training camp practices to-date, with only some slight restrictions:

“He’s looked great,” Colts head coach Shane Steichen said of Leonard on Monday via Kevin Bowen of 1075 The Fan. “We just want to do it the right way. We just want to be smart with him.”

Perhaps even more important than Leonard’s participation, is how he’s looked at Colts camp so far—as he’s shown flashes of being the very fast, agile, and explosive athlete he was before his initial surgery during the offseason of 2022:

For Leonard, it’s been a long and extensive road in his ensuing recovery and rehabilitation from a second back surgery, but he indicated that ‘it’s the best he’s felt in a long time’:

For the Colts, those ‘rave reviews’ so far in camp are an encouraging sign that ‘The Maniac’ may finally return—following a limited season in which he didn’t quite look like himself before undergoing a consecutive (and season-ending) back surgery.

If ‘Shaq is back,’ the Colts will return one of their best players to a defense that could use his dynamic playmaking and personality—always bringing the juice.