Darius Leonard “very happy” after back surgery, would like to be called Shaquille

New England Patriots v Indianapolis Colts
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Colts linebacker Darius Leonard is feeling like a new man after having back surgery in June and he’d like to be called by a new name once he’s ready to get back on the field.

Leonard met with reporters as the team reported to training camp on Tuesday and revealed that his family has always referred to him by his middle name Shaquille even though he’s gone by his first name Darius on the field. He said he was hesitant to say anything earlier in his career, but feels comfortable sharing his preference as he moves into his fifth NFL season.

“I was only called Darius when I was in school or when I was in trouble,” Leonard said, via Larra Overton of the team’s website.

Leonard’s surgery addressed two discs that were pressing on a nerve and contributing to pain in his legs and ankles last season. Leonard declined to give a timeline of when he’ll be back, but said that he’s pleased with how things have gone since the operation.

“The way I’m going, I’m very happy,” Leonard said. “Get ready to rock n’ roll when time comes.”

Leonard’s made three All-Pro teams in his first four seasons, so the Colts will likely be happy to welcome him back by calling him by any name he likes once he’s ready to play again.

7 responses to “Darius Leonard “very happy” after back surgery, would like to be called Shaquille

  1. Well, no it’s not like Ochocinco. That’s a number, Shaquille is his middle name. He’s not changing his name. If you want to analogize, then Giancarlo Stanton might be a better example.

  2. Oh boy. They got themselves a Diva.


    Once they get paid, they get real comfortable. Yikes!

  3. lol this reminds me of when Andy Bernard went to anger management and came back wanting to be called Drew

  4. I’m not sure what the issue is or why the silly comments. It’s not like he made up a name. The name was given to him at birth. The family call him by his middle name. Shaquille would like everyone else to give him the same respect. Look at Odafe Oweh. When he was drafted, he went by his middle name of Jayson. Now he asks that he be called by his first name which everyone does. I see no difference.

  5. touchback6 says:
    July 26, 2022 at 11:03 am

    Oh boy. They got themselves a Diva.


    Did you think Trubisky was a diva for wanting to be called Mitchell instead of Mitch?

  6. You’ve already made the name for yourself, why try to get people to change it now?

    Appreciate ya bro, but you are Darius Leonard for the duration.

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