Colts All-Pro LB Shaquille Leonard undergoes season-ending back surgery

Shaquille Leonard’s season is over.

The Indianapolis Colts All-Pro linebacker underwent season-ending back surgery on Tuesday, Reporting by NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport. Leonard has been limited to three games this season with various injuries.

Leonard, 27, has been struggling with persistent nerve-related back issues, and the Colts placed him on the injured reserve last week. ESPN’s Adam Schefter said he was due to meet with a surgeon on Monday before his season-ending surgery was announced.

Shaquille Leonard’s season is over. (AP Photo/Zach Bolinger)

Leonardo already had surgery in June to treat nerve pain that had affected 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 suffered a concussion and a broken nose when he collided with teammate Zaire Franklin.

“It’s been tough,” Leonard said in October of the repeated health issues. “My patience has been tested 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 leading the NFL with 163 as a rookie in 2018. In his four full seasons before his injury-riddled 2022, Leonard accounted for 17 forced fumbles, 12 interceptions, seven fumble recoveries and 15 sacks.

Captain of the Colts, he is an invaluable member of the team. His presence on the court will be missed as Indianapolis looks to revamp its season under interim head coach Jeff Saturday, who coached his first game Sunday, a win over the Las Vegas Raiders. The Colts are off to a disappointing 4-5-1 start, but retain a rallying outside shot for a playoff berth.