Colts fans learned unfortunate news on Tuesday afternoon when reports broke that star linebacker Shaquille Leonard had season-ending back surgery. While the team can take solace in the fact that surgery was said to be successful, it begs the question of how the Colts defense will be impacted by Shaq’s absence the rest of the year.
Source: #Colts All-Pro LB Shaquille Leonard underwent successful season-ending back surgery this morning after several evaluations. Leonard is on Injured Reserve, and the hope is the procedure fixes his issue for good. pic.twitter.com/Gjer1WUQDY
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) November 15, 2022
On the one hand they’ve been one of the top defenses in the NFL this season despite only having Leonard on the field in three of their nine games. So with that in mind, one could argue that losing Leonard for the rest of this season is inconsequential.
On the other, Indy will be without a game wrecking talent that is known for making big time plays that can make the difference between a win or a loss. With opponents like Philadelphia, Dallas, New York, and Los Angeles (to name a few) still left on the schedule the absence of the star playmaker will no doubt be felt.
We have released our unofficial depth chart for Week 11. ⬇️
— Indianapolis Colts (@Colts) November 15, 2022
Currently, the Colts sit outside the AFC playoff picture with a 4-5-1 record. Barring a truly historic turnaround they will not be playing meaningful football in January and beyond. With that in mind, it’s probably for the best Leonard had this procedure now instead of another temporary fix that would ultimately delay a season-ending surgery from taking place.
The season is all but lost, have Shaq heal hope and hopefully he can put together a healthy 2023 campaign.
And, per @RapSheet, Shaquille Leonard underwent back surgery this morning.
Goal now has to be all about a full recovery, entering 2023 with finally healthy.
Leonard, 27, is under contract through 2026. https://t.co/Eylm2Zz2wT
— Kevin Bowen (@KBowen1070) November 15, 2022
This afternoon on The Dan Dakich Show THE DEAN Mike Chappell of Fox 59 and CBS 4 stopped by to give his thoughts on Shaq Leonard’s season-ending back surgery.
Mike also talked with us about:
- What the loss of Leonard means for the Colts defense the rest of this year
- How he thought the Colts look against the Raiders
- The return of Matt Ryan as starting QB
- The early impact of Jeff Saturday
- If the Colts can string together a last ditch push to the playoffs
Listen to Dan’s full conversation with Mike Chappell below and don’t miss The Dan Dakich Show, weekdays 12-3pm Eastern, on 93.5 and 107.5 The Fan.