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Frank Reich gives cloudy Shaquille Leonard update ahead of Week 1

Frank Reich, Shaquille Leonard, Colts

The Indianapolis Colts have been waiting on pins and needles for an update on Shaquille Leonard’s status as Week 1 nears. The latest update on Leonard from head coach Frank Reich certainly won’t ease any Colts fans’ concerns, though.

Leonard has spent most of the offseason rehabbing his way back from a back surgery he underwent, and it has clouded up his status for the 2022 season as a result. Reich and the Colts have been saying Leonard isn’t at 100 percent for some time now, and his latest comments indicate that he still isn’t, potentially throwing his availability for Week 1 in doubt.

“Can he practice three days and play 15 snaps? I don’t know. Maybe. He’s far from 100 percent. But he can play at 80 percent. That’s just my number.” – Frank Reich, ProFootballTalk

That certainly isn’t a great update from Reich. Leonard still sounds like he’s recovering from his back surgery, which isn’t totally surprising, but it is a bit worrisome that he may not be ready for the Colts season opener.

Even more worrying is Reich suggesting that Leonard could still play, even though he’s not fully healthy yet. This is a risk because it could result in Leonard causing more damage to his back early on in the season. The better play may be letting Leonard fully recover before throwing him back into the center of Indy’s defense.

Either way, it doesn’t look like Leonard is a sure bet to play come Week 1 for the Colts. It may be better to hold him out, but it’s clear Frank Reich believes he can play well even if he plays. As such, Leonard’s status for Week 1 may end up coming down to the wire.