INDIANAPOLIS – Shaquille Leonard took the next step in his return to the Indianapolis Colts’ defense.
The team’s All-Pro linebacker was on the practice field Wednesday afternoon.
It remains to be seen if that translates into Leonard being ready for the Colts’ Sept. 11 season opener at Houston. The last time he stepped on the field was Jan. 9 when the Colts were eliminated from playoff consideration with their loss at Jacksonville.
The team cleared Leonard’s path for a return to the practice field Tuesday when they added him to the active roster from the physically unable to perform list (PUP). He opened training camp on PUP after undergoing back surgery in June.
To be determined is how quickly Leonard is able to get himself in actual game shape and up to speed with his role in Gus Bradley’s defense.
Leonard will have six practices prior to the opener against the Texans.
There’s no questioning his value to the Colts.
Leonard was named first-team All-Pro for a third consecutive season in 2021 on the strength of four interceptions, a league-high eight forced fumbles and four tackles for loss.
“I think when he gets cleared he’s not going to be 100% and I think he is going to have to work his way back into it,’’ Frank Reich said prior to the team adding Leonard to the active roster.
You can follow Mike Chappell on Twitter at @mchappell51.