Indianapolis Colts linebacker Shaquille Leonard underwent season-ending back surgery Tuesday morning, a move that will take a hopeful step towards fixing the issue once and for all, according to a tweet from NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport.
The 27-year-old linebacker was officially placed on Injured Reserve just before a Week 10 matchup with the Las Vegas Raiders. Shaquille Leonard met with neck surgeon Dr. Robert Watkins on Monday to determine whether the injury would sideline him for the rest of the season.
Shaquille Leonard had two surgeries since late July, when he underwent neck surgery to replace two disks that were sitting on two nerves, causing considerable pain in his ankle.
Concerns grew over whether Leonard would suit up again after he was placed on Injured Reserve, which sidelined him for a minimum of four games, when there were eight games left in the Colts season. A setback in a Wednesday practice caused him to sit out for the rest of the week, leaving him out of practice along with running back Deon Jackson and tight end Jelani Woods.
“He came off the field on Wednesday, just felt different,” head coach Jeff Saturday said. “They’ve scanned him. They’re working with him, evaluating him … in the training room, trying to get him healthy.”
Though the process has been nothing short of frustrating for the fifth-year Colt and two-time First Team AP All Pro, Shaquille Leonard said he showed signs of recovering from his injury during last week's practice sessions.
“Each week I've felt better, starting from my first week of practice, not being able to move and being stiff,” Shaquille Leonard said last Saturday. “In the past two games, I see myself moving around better.
“But we're still not there. The nerve still isn't firing in my calf.”
The Colts will kick off against the Philadelphia Eagles at 1 p.m. EST this Sunday at Lucas Oil Stadium. The game will be broadcasted on CBS.