Antelope Valley Press

Indianapol­is Colts waive threetime All-Pro Shaquille Leonard in surprising move


INDIANAPOL­IS — Indianapol­is waived three-time All-Pro linebacker Shaquille Leonard on Tuesday in a surprising move after the Colts played themselves back into the playoff race.

The decision to part ways with Leonard, the 2018 AP NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year, comes shortly after he complained publicly about his decreased playing time this season.

Indy (5-5) was trying to bring back the playmaking linebacker slowly after undergoing two back surgeries to repair a nerve injury.

“Indy, I want to thank you for accepting me and my family with open arms,” Leonard wrote in part in a social media post. “These past six years has been nothing but incredible! Through the good times and the bad y’all stood by my side. I apologize for not bringing that (Lombardi) trophy back to the 317.”

The Colts did not have player availabili­ty Tuesday, their typical day off. Indy had a bye last week after beating the New England Patriots in Germany to get back to .500.

Leonard was best known for two traits on the field — his ability to chase down opponents and his penchant for creating turnovers.

The injury limited those skills substantia­lly in 2021 and 2022, when he missed all but three games because of several injuries.

“Shaq is the ultimate competitor and has been a fan favorite since he arrived as a rookie in 2018,” general manger Chris Ballard said in a statement. “We are incredibly grateful for his contributi­ons to the team and the city of Indianapol­is over the last six seasons. We wish him the best and he will always be a valued member of the Horseshoe.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United States