Shaquille Leonard's season is done.
Leonard, 27, has been dealing with lingering nerve-related back issues, and the Colts placed him on injured reserve last week. ESPN's Adam Schefter reported that Leonard was scheduled to meet with a surgeon on Monday prior to the news of his season-ending surgery.
Leonard previously had surgery in June to address the nerve pain that had impacted his left leg and ankle. Recovery from the procedure sidelined him for the first three weeks of the season. When he returned in Week 4 against the Tennessee Titans, he sustained a concussion and broken nose when he collided with teammate Zaire Franklin.
"It's been challenging," Leonard said in October of the repeated health issues. "My patience has been challenged a lot."
When healthy, Leonard is a game-changing defender. A four-time All-Pro, Leonard has been among the league leaders in tackles since he led the NFL with 163 as a rookie in 2018. In his four full seasons prior to his injury-riddled 2022, Leonard accounted for 17 forced fumbles, 12 interceptions, seven fumble recoveries and 15 sacks.
A Colts captain, he's an invaluable member of the team. His presence on the field will be missed as Indianapolis looks to revamp its season under interim head coach Jeff Saturday, who coached his first game on Sunday, a win over the Las Vegas Raiders. The Colts are off to a disappointing 4-5-1 start, but maintain an outside shot of rallying for a playoff berth.