Colts linebacker Shaquille Leonard expressed his frustration with his defensive role last week, reigniting discussions about his playing time during Thursday’s media session.
Despite the absence of Zaire Franklin due to injury in Week Nine against the Panthers, Leonard experienced a decrease in playing time. During that game, he split time on first and second downs but did not take the field on third downs. On Thursday, Leonard admitted uncertainty about how to reclaim a role similar to his accustomed position on the Indianapolis defense.
Expressing his frustration, Leonard questioned whether he was making mistakes or if there was a lack of confidence in his abilities. In an interview with Kevin Bowen of 107.5 The Fan, Leonard said, “What can I do? What am I doing wrong, or am I just — you don’t believe in me? Am I not making plays? Am I bad at the run game? Am I bad at the passing game? Tell me something, just help me sleep.
Help me sleep better at night. I just feel like I give everything I got on the field in practice, and I give everything I’ve got whenever I’m playing on Sundays, no matter if it’s one or 70 plays. I’m doing my job, man. It sucks, honestly, it really sucks.”
While Leonard acknowledged that his feelings won’t determine game outcomes and that the team’s decision is beyond his control, he expressed a commitment to continue giving his best effort every day. Despite the uncertainty, Leonard remains hopeful for an opportunity to contribute to the team’s success once again.