The Indianapolis Colts defense had to navigate their Week 16 game against the Arizona Cardinals without key defender and All-Pro linebacker Darius Leonard, who was placed on the reserve/COVID list. After the impressive victory over the Cardinals, the Colts received a massive boost after the update on Leonard ahead of the game against the Las Vegas Raiders.

Darius Leonard, Zach Pascal and Khari Willis each missed the game against the Cardinals, but all are in position to return for Indianapolis in Week 17 against the Raiders.

Leonard, in particular, provides a massive boost for the Colts defense. The All-Pro linebacker has had over 100 tackles in each of his first four seasons in the NFL and has displayed strong coverage skills from the linebacker spot.

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Leonard's ability to defend in the passing game will be a key chess piece in the Colts' efforts to stop the Raiders, who rank fifth in the NFL in passing yards per game.

The Colts linebacker's presence is also a huge boost for other reasons. With quarterback Carson Wentz potentially set to miss the game, the Colts defense may have to be stronger than usual.

With star linebacker Darius Leonard back from the COVID list, that task against the Raiders just got easier.