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INDIANAPOLIS – With the rookies reporting for Training Camp on Sunday, linebacker Darius Leonard finally put pen to paper on his first NFL contract.

The odd hold-up for the No. 36 pick from April’s draft ended on Sunday, four days before the Colts begin their Training Camp at Grand Park in Westfield.

Chris Ballard said on Friday that the contract with Leonard would get done before camp, while not offering any public details on why it took so long for both parties to come to an agreement.

Now, the question becomes how will Leonard look on an NFL practice field?

The South Carolina State product was injured all spring with a tweaked quad, which he first hurt during February’s NFL Combine.

Leonard re-injured that quad on his first day with the Colts, during May’s rookie minicamp. He missed all of the offseason program.

If Leonard can learn this simpler defensive scheme, he figures to be the starter at WILL linebacker.

Ballard and the Colts have gushed about Leonard, 6-2 and 234 pounds, being the perfect fit as an athletic, sideline-to-sideline defender.

“The athlete, the speed, that’s what we want at linebacker,” Ballard said back after drafting Leonard, who was the final draft pick to sign his rookie deal. “We want guys that can play in space, close to the football and you have to do that with speed. The way we play, speed is a premium. Our linebackers have to be able to run. I mean, we set a limit on it.


“And he has got speed.”


It sounds looks like Leonard is healthy and should be participating when the Colts start practicing on Thursday.


Leonard and Quenton Nelson are the two most likely rookies to start for the Colts this season.