Colts’ Darius Leonard limited, but back at work

INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA - Darius Leonard #53 of the Indianapolis Colts.(Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – It’s still early in the week, but the medical signs are encouraging on one front with the Indianapolis Colts.

All-Pro linebacker Darius Leonard, who’s missed the last two games with a concussion, returned to practice Wednesday on a limited basis. That would indicate he’s on track to gain medical clearance and be available for Sunday’s meeting with the Kansas City Chiefs in Arrowhead Stadium, although he still must pass all phases of the NFL’s concussion protocol.

The latter includes going through a full practice and being cleared by an independent neurologist.

“I do think Darius has made a lot of progress,’’ Frank Reich said. “We feel like he is making progress, but we want to protect the player. So we’re going to do the right thing for the players with all the information that we have.

“The players, first and foremost, their safety is our primary concern.’’

The news wasn’t as promising for a couple of other players.

Among the six Colts held out of Wednesday’s practice were safety Clayton Geathers (concussion) and Pro Bowl wideout T.Y. Hilton (quad).

Hilton missed Sunday’s loss to the Oakland Raiders, just the fifth game he’s missed in his eight-year career.

“It’s very difficult,’’ he said. “I felt like I let my team down by not being out there. And I told them that, ‘I feel like I let y’all down, and it’s my fault.’ So that loss is on me.’’

How’s the quad?

“I’m feeling good, man,’’ Hilton said. “I’m feeling really good. Did some things yesterday and the day before.

“I’m feeling good, but it’s up to the coaches.’’

Reich admitted the team must balance getting Hilton back on the field as soon as his quad allows against using the bye week following the Chiefs game to give him additional time to heal.

“It’s always a factor,’’ he said, “but every game is so critical. Obviously, this game is really important to us, so we’ll weigh all of that as we go.’’

Others held out Wednesday: running back Marlon Mack (ankle), wideout Parris Campbell (abdominal), defensive lineman Tyquan Lewis (ankle) and safety Malik Hooker (knee).

You can follow Mike Chappell on Twitter at @mchappell51

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