A report earlier this week indicated that Colts linebacker Shaquille Leonard remains without a timetable to return from the back surgery that he had in June and that the team’s belief is that Leonard will be back at “some point” in the regular season.
Colts head coach Frank Reich didn’t put a timetable in place when he spoke to reporters on Wednesday, but he did say that no one has ruled out a Week 1 appearance from the All-Pro linebacker. Reich said the team is “hopeful and optimistic” that Leonard will be able to play against the Texans while adding that they’re also preparing plans to play without him if necessary.
“You’re preparing as if he’s not gonna be ready. You prepare for worst-case scenario. But Shaq is preparing like he’s gonna be ready for Week 1,” Reich said, via Zak Keefer of TheAthletic.com.
Leonard played 16 games last season and he’s missed seven games over four seasons as the centerpiece of the defense in Indianapolis. The Colts don’t want to add too many games to that total, but they may need to go without him for a period in order to ensure he’s full strength for the majority of the year.