Shaquille (Darius) Leonard's Injury Should Scare Colts Bettors

Indianapolis Colts outside linebacker Shaquille "Darius" Leonard.
Indianapolis Colts outside linebacker Shaquille "Darius" Leonard. / Jenna Watson/IndyStar / USA TODAY

Indianapolis Colts linebacker Shaquille “Darius” Leonard had offseason back surgery, and it appears he may not be ready to return for the start of the 2022 season. 

The Colts, who are currently +2500 at WynnBET to win the Super Bowl in 2022, need Leonard to anchor their defense, and his absence could be a reason to wait and see before betting on any of their futures. 

When Is Shaquille “Darius” Leonard Coming Back for the Colts? 

Leonard has no timetable for a return, and while the team does expect him back this season, it appears there isn’t a sense of urgency to have him play in all 17 games. 

Leonard is one of the best defensive players in the NFL, totaling 121 or more tackles in each season since entering the league. Last season, Leonard led the NFL with eight forced fumbles and also added four tackles for a loss for Indy in 16 games. 

The Colts are just 3-3 all time without Leonard since they drafted him in the second round of the 2018 NFL Draft. Indy relied heavily on its defense and running game in the 2021 season, but with Matt Ryan at quarterback the offense should be a little better in 2022. 

The question will be whether or not the Colts’ defense can hold up without Leonard. Right now, the team’s depth chart lists E.J. Speed as Leonard’s primary backup. Speed, a former fifth-round pick, has just 47 career tackles in 44 games (one start). 

Until there is more clarity on Leonard’s status in 2022, bettors may be wise to stay away from the Colts in the futures market.

Find Peter Dewey’s full betting record here.