INDIANAPOLIS — Colts linebacker Shaquille Leonard has expressed frustration over his limited role in the team’s defense following two back surgeries. Even in the absence of injured starting middle linebacker Zaire Franklin in Week 9, Leonard was told that his role would not be expanded, solidifying his diminished role.
Leonard, a three-time first-team All-Pro selection, believes he is close to returning to his old form after his injuries, but Colts’ defensive coordinator Gus Bradley and his staff appear to disagree.
Leonard expressed his disappointment after being informed that he would split reps on early downs and continue to leave the field on third down while backup Segun Olubi manned the middle. Despite leading the Colts in tackles during Sunday’s win over the Panthers, Leonard was only on the field for 55% of the snaps.
Defensive coordinator Bradley stated that playing time decisions are based on impact plays, with the team making way for E.J. Speed to see more action due to his range and playmaking ability.
Leonard insists he has put his best foot forward every day and remains frustrated with his limited playing time, leading to increased frustration and conflict within the team.
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