Colts’ Darius Leonard to undergo back surgery, expected to be ready for regular season, per report


The Indianapolis Colts will not have star linebacker Darius Leonard on the field throughout their offseason program, though they expect to have him back for the regular season. 

According to a report from The Athletic, Leonard does not need a second surgery on his balky ankle, but he does need surgery on his back. Zak Keefer reported that the back surgery will take place on Tuesday, and that Leonard could miss some of training camp.

“Not sure on the timetable now, but in my mind, as long as he’s ready for the regular season, I’m not concerned,” Colts coach Frank Reich said, according to WISH-TV.

Leonard has been named a Pro Bowler in three of his four NFL seasons, as well as a first-team All-Pro three times and a second-team All-Pro once. He’s recorded at least 121 tackles and seven passes defensed in all four of his seasons, and last year led the NFL with eight forced fumbles. 

Leonard underwent ankle surgery around this time last offseason but the ankle continued to bother him throughout the year. He also had ankle surgery following his rookie season. He also signed a five year, $98.25 million contract extension with $52.5 million in guarantees last year. He’s set to count against Indianapolis’ books for just shy of $11.2 million in 2022, but will carry a cap hit of at least $19.7 million in the following four years, though none of his salary beyond 2023 is guaranteed. 

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