Indianapolis Colts linebacker Shaquille Leonard was removed from the active/PUP list Tuesday as a part of the team’s efforts to reduce the roster to 53 players, the team announced.
Leonard was not placed on the reserve/PUP list, which means he has a chance to return within the first four games. If that wasn’t the case, the Colts would have put him on the PUP list to begin the season.
Leonard missed the majority of the spring workouts, as well as all of training camp and the preseason after undergoing back surgery in June. He went under the knife to correct a nerve issue in his back that was having an impact on his calf and ankle.
Whether Leonard will be ready for the Week 1 opener against the Houston Texans remains to be seen. The Colts would like him to practice before getting on the field, which means he could miss the opener if he hasn’t done so.
Leonard is a player who can get by without having to practice, though, so if he’s cleared, there’s a chance that happens. Even if he misses the first game, he shouldn’t be out much longer after that. Otherwise, the Colts would have put him on the PUP list to begin the season.
This will be one of the bigger storylines heading into the season, but the fact that he wasn’t placed on the PUP list to begin the season bodes well for his chances to return soon.