A few years after making Shaquille Leonard the highest-paid middle linebacker in NFL history, the Indianapolis Colts have their star feeling like an accessory instead of a primary piece.
The South Carolina State product has been battling a groin injury this season which, along with his history of back issues, has led to a snap reduction for him. He played in just 36.5 percent of the team’s snaps against the Jaguars in Week Four.
He says he thinks he’s ready to return to every down action, but he doesn’t think the Indianapolis Colts think so.
“I think it’s probably going to be similar, maybe even worse,” Leonard told reporters. “I’m just going to go out and play as many plays as I can play and then just go from there.”
Leonard was asked if he felt like he could somehow prove to the Colts he is ready to be unleashed.
“I just feel like each week I prove who I am. I feel like the way that I play the game is getting better and better each year — each week,” he said. “But they say I don’t make enough splash plays, so I guess I’ll still be watching for a little bit.”
He’s been splitting reps with E.J. Speed, and he anticipates that won’t change any time soon.
“I kinda know a little bit. They’ll tell me if I’m going to split reps with EJ on first or second — I know I’m not in on third down. I kinda know what it it is. If I like it or not, it is what it is.”