Indianapolis Colts middle linebacker Shaquille Leonard will miss Sunday’s game against the host Houston Texans with a back injury.
Leonard underwent surgery in the offseason. He was dealing with nerve issues that caused pain in his lower extremities. But he isn’t yet in game shape and was ruled out for Week 1 on Friday.
“Feel good about the progress he’s making,” Colts coach Frank Reich said Friday. “But we just felt after talking with Shaq, talking with the trainers, doctors, that it was the best thing for him and for our team to hold him out this week.”
The three-time Pro Bowl selection and three-time All-Pro has piled up 538 tackles and 15 sacks in 58 games over his first four seasons. He also has 17 forced fumbles and 11 interceptions, returning one of the picks for a touchdown.
Leonard acknowledged he might have to sit out.
“I don’t want to go out there and hurt the team. If I’m ready to rock and roll, I’ll be ready to rock and roll,” he said Thursday.
Zaire Franklin and E.J. Speed are slated to share the position in place of Leonard.
Leonard was a limited practice participant the past two days after fully participating on Wednesday.
Offensive tackle Dennis Kelly (knee) is questionable for the Colts. He was limited in Friday’s practice.
Houston listed two defensive ends with thigh injuries on its Friday injury report. Mario Addison is doubtful and Rasheem Green is questionable.
–Field Level Media