Colts LB Leonard hopes to return vs. Jets

Indianapolis Colts rookie linebacker Darius Leonard (53), out with an ankle injury,  hopes to return for Sunday's game against the Jets.
Indianapolis Colts rookie linebacker Darius Leonard (53), out with an ankle injury, hopes to return for Sunday's game against the Jets.
INDIANAPOLIS -- Darius Leonard sounded refreshed and ready to get back to work on Monday. The Indianapolis Colts rookie weakside linebacker missed his first NFL game on Thursday due to an ankle injury but suggested he could have suited up if the game at New England were on Sunday. "I think so," Leonard said. "If it was Sunday, I would have been fine." The Colts (1-4) were so banged up in their 38-24 road loss to the Patriots, they had just 44 active players, two fewer than allowed. And left tackle Anthony Castonzo, who didn't play and has yet to do so this year due to a hamstring injury, was strictly an emergency player. Then several players were injured in Thursday's game, most notably defensive tackle Denico Autry (hamstring), linebacker Anthony Walker (concussion), safety Clayton Geathers (neck/concussion) and safety Matthias Farley (hamstring). As the Colts look to snap a three-game losing streak with another road game at the New York Jets (2-3) on Sunday, a recurring question will focus on who will be healthy enough to return? "We'll have to sort through everything for the next couple days," coach Frank Reich said. "We had a little extra rest, obviously guys get a little extra rest, all of us get a little extra rest, but also a little jump start on the Jets." He later added, "We've got to win with the guys we have." While determinations for several players won't be known until late in the week, Reich said cornerbacks Kenny Moore II and Quincy Wilson are in the league-mandated concussion protocol for a second consecutive week. Leonard and cornerback Nate Hairston (hamstring) were game-time decisions last Thursday, Reich said, and the team decided to play it safe. The defense needs Leonard, a second-round pick who was named NFL Defensive Rookie of the Month last week. Despite missing the game, Leonard still leads the league with 54 total tackles. His 38 solo tackles rank second. "It was very hard," he said of being sidelined, "especially with how well I was doing, and you think you're clicking on all cylinders, then you get a minor setback." Leonard said he "should be" ready for Sunday. Wide receiver Chester Rogers conceded his gassed team welcomed last weekend off after playing two games in five days. "Mentally and physically, we needed that. We were drained," Rogers said. "We played two games in a four- or five-day span. That's crazy, especially in the NFL. We needed that break. We regroup. We've got another day off (Tuesday), then it's all about the Jets." --QB Andrew Luck has completed 163 of 245 passes, the most in a player's first five games since 1950. He's on pace for 784 pass attempts, which would shatter the league mark of 727 set by Detroit's Matthew Stafford in in 2012. He's also on pace for 521 completions, which would shatter Drew Brees' league record of 471 in 2016. "It's killing me to have to throw this much," Reich said. "I know you can't sustain this." --TE Eric Ebron, who signed as a free agent in the offseason, had a career-high 105 yards receiving and two TDs at New England. He has a team-high five touchdowns. --WR T.Y. Hilton, who didn't participate in walk-throughs last week and sat out Thursday with chest and hamstring injuries, didn't take part in Monday's light workout. His status is uncertain for Sunday. --T Braden Smith, a rookie second-round pick who played guard at Auburn, became the team's fifth different starting tackle when he made his first NFL start at right tackle. "Braden played well," Reich said. "Tough situation, being thrown out there at the last minute. He did a really nice job. I think he exceeded expectations at that spot." --S Malik Hooker, a 2017 first-round selection, led the Colts with 12 tackles against the Patriots.

Latest Player Notes

How Wisconsin athletes are benefiting from a unique NIL deal with Madison's Exact Sciences

Feb 17, 2024MJ Hammill entered what can be a scary time of an athlete’s life in mid-December.She went into the volleyball ...

Mike Griffith: Texas is Georgia's primary focus this offseason

February 16, 2024The Georgia Bulldogs face three SEC contenders on the road next season in Alabama, Texas and Ole Miss. According ...

Navigating a season that could see Texas play Georgia more than once

February 17, 2024The Texas Longhorns and Georgia Bulldogs will play in Austin on Oct. 19. It may not be the only time they ...

After some key departures from the team, Dykes got busy in the portal this offseason.

5:11 PM on Feb 16, 2024Biggest unanswered question: Who will emerge as the clear WR1?Before last season, Williams was the ...

How Louisville football coach Jeff Brohm balances transfer portal, high school recruiting

Louisville Courier JournalCollege football used to buzz on the first Wednesday in February, but Louisville football's office ...

Bob Asmussen | Illinois defense counting on linebackers to plug the gaps

College Football Reporter/ColumnistCHAMPAIGN — A new linebacker coach is in place at Illinois, and Archie McDaniel said he ...

Where Alabama’s quarterback group stands before spring practice

Alabama football’s offense is going to look different this season. Kalen DeBoer has replaced the retired Nick Saban as head ...

Why did AJ McCarron return to the St. Louis Battlehawks?

When AJ McCarron joined the resurrected XFL last year, the former Alabama All-American hadn’t played since suffering a knee ...

Colorado football self-reported 11 minor NCAA violations from Deion Sanders’ first year with Buffs

1/26/2024The Colorado football program has self-reported 11 minor NCAA violations since the hiring of head coach Deion Sanders ...

What Steve Young said about today’s NFL quarterbacks

By Jackson Payne Steve Young may have enjoyed a Hall of Fame career in the NFL, but that doesn’t stop him from feeling just ...
See More Player Notes