Shaquille Leonard: I know I’m a step behind

NFL: OCT 30 Commanders at Colts
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Shaquille Leonard has not practiced much since last season. He has played even less.

The Colts star linebacker missed training camp as he recovered from offseason back surgery. He has missed seven practices and six games this season with a concussion and back, nose and ankle injuries.

Leonard wasn’t on the practice report Wednesday. He sat out Thursday with continuing back and ankle issues.

In the 74 snaps he has played, Leonard hasn’t felt all the way back yet.

“The past two games, I see myself moving around better, but it’s still not there,” Leonard said, via James Boyd of “That nerve still isn’t firing into my calf, so it’s just a lot of film study. I think that’s the reason why I can play today is because of how much film that I’ve watched, and I’ve got to put myself into position to make a play because I know I’m a step behind.”

The Colts have played 519 of 577 defensive snaps without their three-time All-Pro, who has had an impact in the few plays he has played. Leonard has 11 tackles, an interception and a pass breakup in three games.

“It’s hard. It’s hard being in and out, especially one, not being the starter and two, missing games, splitting reps, not playing, pitch count. There’s a lot of frustration,” Leonard said. “It’s a lot of things that I can’t control. I’m always talking about controlling what I can control and that is coming to work every day with a great mindset. Being able to help others, help the [linebackers] out, so I don’t shy away from that.”

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