The Colts Waived Linebacker Shaquille Leonard

The Colts Waived Linebacker Shaquille Leonard

The Indianapolis Colts waived their linebacker Shaquille Leonard on Tuesday after he has been plagued with injuries throughout the season. 

Leonard, the three-time first-team AP All-Pro, three-time Pro Bowler, and 2018 AP Defensive Rookie of the Year, underwent a pair of procedures in 2022 to address a nerve issue and only appeared in three games last season. 

He tweeted with a picture “Indy, I thank you.”

“Colts Nation will always remember The Maniac’s palpable energy on the field with each tackle, interception, punchout, and fumble recovery,” Colts Owner and CEO Jim Irsay said. 

“Off the field, he’s a servant leader and assisted numerous families in both his hometown and the Indianapolis community. We’re thankful for Shaq and the contributions he made to our organization. We wish him and his beautiful family the best moving forward.”

He returned for 2023 and started nine of the Colts’ 10 games but played mostly on first and second downs. 

The Colts selected Leonard with the No. 36 overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft and he rode his wheel while playing for the franchise. 

Leonard set a Colts record with 163 tackles in 2018 and added two interceptions, four forced fumbles, 12 tackles for a loss, and seven sacks. He also had five interceptions in 2019 and in 2021 led the NFL with eight forced fumbles.

“Shaq is the ultimate competitor and has been a fan favorite since he arrived as a rookie in 2018,” general manager Chris Ballard said. 

“We are incredibly grateful for his contributions to the team and the city of Indianapolis over the last six seasons. We wish him the best and he will always be a valued member of the Horseshoe.”

Over nine games in 2023 due to injuries, Leonard totaled 65 tackles and two tackles for a loss.

“I’m thankful for the energy Shaq brought to our team daily,” head coach Shane Steichen said. “He’s a competitor, a leader, and is respected among his teammates. I wish him all the best.”