Home in South Carolina, Darius Leonard awaits return to Colts

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HOUSTON, TX – DECEMBER 09: Darius Leonard #53 of the Indianapolis Colts celebrates with Al-Quadin Muhammad #97 after sacking Deshaun Watson #4 of the Houston Texans in the third quarter at NRG Stadium on December 9, 2018 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Social distancing is nothing new to All Pro linebacker Darius Leonard.

“I’m from the country,” Leonard smiles. “I grew up isolated. The closest people around might be down the street.”

That room to breathe lends itself to a certain workout routine.

“Running around in the yard,” Leonard explains, “doing country stuff like moving a lawn mower. Just finding a way to get me going.”

Leonard has added a few pieces of equipment to his workout regimen since those early days of isolation. One piece the Colts added that should benefit Darius this season is another All Pro in defensive lineman DeForest Buckner.

“Just was very excited to add another monster to the defense,” Leonard says. “Watching his tape, seeing how well he plays, how he can help the defense, just looking forward to playing along with him.”

Leonard admits, as someone who doesn’t like sitting still for even 10 minutes, he’s eagerly looking forward to being back together with his Colts teammates. Intensity at all times is a trait of his that stands out.

“The thing I love most about Darius, explains head coach Frank Reich, “is the way he practices. How much energy he brings to practice I think is contagious. I think he’s been a good leader in that regard.”

Forced off the practice field, Leonard is leading differently right now, doing so remembering lessons he learned from sitting out last offseason with an ankle injury.

“Now you’re going to have to ask more questions because you’re not physically doing anything,” he says. “You have to call your coach. You have to call your teammates. Build that relationship and make you a better person and player.”

A better Maniac is something all Horseshoe fans can get behind.

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