Colts star Darius Leonard issues challenge to Philip Rivers’ QB replacement
Former Indianapolis Colts quarterback Philip Rivers elected to retire from the NFL following the conclusion of the 2020-21 campaign. However, it appears as though the players that remain in Indianapolis–namely standout linebacker Darius Leonard–don’t care who replaces the future Hall of Famer as long as whoever it is helps the team win.
“I honestly don’t care who’s the quarterback, as long as the quarterback comes in with the right mentality and they’re gonna help us win ballgames,” Leonard recently said of the Colts’ future QB, via SiriusXM NFL Radio. “I don’t care if he’s young, I don’t care if he’s old, I don’t care if he’s well-known or not. If you’re going to come in and put the team first and help us win ballgames, come on down to the Indianapolis Colts.”
Although the rival Tennessee Titans won the AFC South in 2020-21, Indianapolis finished with an identical 11-5 regular season record. For what it’s worth, the Colts still managed to reach the postseason under the direction of Philip Rivers, who had a back-and-forth season for the team.
With Darius Leonard leading the way on the defensive side of the line of scrimmage, the sixth-seeded Colts nearly defeated the No. 2 seed Buffalo Bills in the wild card round of the playoffs before bowing out of Super Bowl contention. Indianapolis fell to Buffalo by the score of 27-24, with the two teams combining for a 24-point fourth quarter–which made for quite the exciting finish.
Interestingly though, Leonard also expressed his “complete shock” about Rivers’ retirement, noting that he personally believed the veteran QB has a lot more left in the tank.
“It was definitely a complete shock,” Leonard added, per NFL.com. “You know, just talking to him a couple of days before he announced, he still didn’t know what he was gonna do. Me personally, I do believe that he has some left in the tank. He played very well this year for us and I thought he was going to come back the next year and do the same exact thing and play even better.”