Colts linebacker Shaq Leonard shares frustration for lack of big snaps on defense

Colts linebacker Shaq Leonard shares frustration for lack of big snaps on defense

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Indianapolis Colts linebacker Shaq Leonard is coming off his best performance of the season last week, having finished with 11 tackles during the Colts’ 38-27 loss to the New Orleans Saints.

Leonard played 83% of the defensive snaps in the matchup.

But, Leonard is hoping to be on the field for even more plays than just 83% of them.

“I just feel that each week I prove who I am,” Leonard said Thursday. “I feel that the way I play the game is getting better and better each week. But they said I don’t make enough ‘splash plays.’ So, I guess I’ll still be watching a little bit.”

Leonard returned to action this season after undergoing two back surgeries last year.

He feels he’s just about back to his old form, when he was a three-time Pro Bowler from 2019-21.

“Me, personally, I think so,” Leonard said. “I don’t think they think that. I think it’s probably going to be the same or maybe even worse. So, I’m just going to go out and just play as many plays as I can play and then, just go from there.”

He’s hoping to be involved more specifically on big plays.

“I kind of know a little bit,” Leonard said. “They tell me if I’m going to split reps with E.J. (Speed) on first and second (downs). You know I’m not in on third downs. So, kind of know exactly what it is. Like it or not, it is what it is.”

Leonard has 46 tackles this season, which includes 25 solo tackles.

He is still in search of his first interception and first forced fumble / fumble recovery of the season.

The Colts will hit the road this weekend to face the Carolina Panthers on Sunday. Kickoff is set for 4:05 p.m. Eastern inside Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, South Carolina.

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