INDIANAPOLIS — The Colts are holding All-Pro linebacker Darius Leonard out of practice for the second consecutive week of the organized team activities.
Leonard’s left ankle is still giving him trouble, almost a full year after he underwent surgery on the joint.
Indianapolis does not believe, at this point, that Leonard needs a similar surgery this summer.
“We’re just taking it day by day, trying to see what, exactly, we’re dealing with, how we can get it to respond and make some progress,” Colts head coach Frank Reich said.
Leonard’s surgery last June, described as minor at the time, was intended to clean up the ankle and get the linebacker to full strength before the start of the 2021 season, but it cost him the first two weeks of training camp, lingered into the regular season and remained a problem throughout, although it did get better as the season progressed.
Leonard played through the pain, adjusted his style of play to account for the ankle and played career highs of 16 regular season games and 91.8 percent of the snaps.
But he acknowledged this spring that the ankle is still an issue.
“It’s attached, it’s there,” Leonard said. “It feels a whole lot better than what it did, coming from the end of the season. A lot of time to rest, trying to make it stronger. I feel better coming into this season than I did last year, I can say that.”
Leonard and the Colts have both said it isn’t fully healed.
“Sometimes when you’re going through something and you hit a lull, you can’t get over a hump, you’ve got to stop and pause and say ‘Why aren’t we getting over this hump?’” Reich said. “That’s a little bit of what it is with Darius.”
And while Indianapolis is evaluating the injury, the Colts would rather keep Leonard off the field.
“You never know,” Reich said. “That’s exactly why we’re trying to be cautious with him.”