INDIANAPOLIS – The heart and soul of the Indianapolis Colts’ defense returns today.

Shaquille Leonard is active and expected to resume his starting spot as the Indianapolis Colts meet the Tennessee Titans at Lucas Oil Stadium.

The All-Pro linebacker has missed the first three games while recovering from back surgery in June.

Also, defensive tackle DeForest Buckner, who didn’t practice this week because of an elbow injury, is active.

Leonard’s return is the biggest news of the day. He practiced on a full-time basis throughout September only to be ruled out for game action.

Coach Frank Reich said Leonard’s availability for the Titans game would depend on how he responded to the week’s work on the practice field. He also said Leonard isn’t likely to be “all the way back.’’

“He’s not going to be 100%,’’ Reich said Friday. “But we think when he plays we will have made the conclusion that he can play winning football and help us win a game and not be a negative factor.’’

“If I’m ready to go, I’m gonna go,’’ Leonard said Thursday. “Everybody knows me. I went out there last year with one ankle.

“I love this game, love this game with all my heart and I’ll do anything to play this game for a hundred years.’’

Leonard earned his third 1st-team All-Pro nod last season on the strength of four interceptions and a league-best eight forced fumbles.

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You can follow Mike Chappell on Twitter at @mchappell51.