Previously Absent Colts Stars Return to the Field for Minicamp

Frank Reich

Getty Head coach Frank Reich and the Indianapolis Colts saw two key defenders return to the field for the start of minicamp on June 7.

The Indianapolis Colts completed two weeks of voluntary offseason workouts without cornerback Kenny Moore II and edge rusher Yannick Ngakoue. But that won’t be the case for the team during minicamp.

When the Colts minicamp began on June 7, both Moore and Ngakoue were reportedly on the field participating in team drills. Colts reporter Mike Chappell of FOX and CBS Sports tweeted Moore was on the field participating in team drills while Ngakoue was at the team’s facility.

Media personality Olivia Ray of WISH-TV also reported Moore practiced and that Ngakoue was on the field.

But multiple reporters tweeted that there was no sign of linebacker Darius Leonard at practice during the first day of minicamp.

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Cornerback Kenny Moore II Returns

During the first week of OTAs, Moore was at the Colts facility but was reportedly not participating in team drills because he was “upset and feels like he’s underpaid” according to Colts insider Joel A. Erickson of The Indianapolis Star.

Moore continued to not partake in team practices during the second week of OTAs. Head coach Frank Reich stressed that the workouts were all voluntary but also said he hadn’t talked to Moore about whether he would be back on the field for minicamp.

He showed up for his physical on June 6, though, and then put everyone at ease appearing on the field to start minicamp.

Moore is arguably the team’s top cornerback, having received recognition as the NFL’s best slot corner this offseason. But Spotrac reports he will be the 27th-highest paid cornerback in the league this season based on average annual salary.

Yannick Ngakoue Makes Colts Practice Debut

Ngakoue was also absence from OTAs. Unlike Moore, Ngakoue wasn’t even at the team facility. Instead, he chose to work out on his own. On May 25, Colts staff writer Zak Keefer of The Athletic reported Ngakoue would be joining the team soon.

Appearing on the field on June 7, Ngakoue made his first practice appearance with his new team. The Colts acquired the 2017 Pro Bowler from the Las Vegas Raiders in a trade during March.

Ngakoue is expected to be a key component of the improved Indianapolis pass rush. He has recorded at least 8.0 sacks in all six of his NFL seasons.

Darius Leonard Dealing with Ankle Injury

Even with the return of Moore and Ngakoue, the Colts still don’t have their entire defense on the field to start minicamp. A three-time All-Pro, Leonard was absence from the team’s practice on June 7.

Leonard was not even out on the field during practice.

Leonard sat out at least parts of the team’s voluntary workouts. Erickson reported Leonard was resting his ankle as a precaution.

The linebacker has been dealing with lingering ankle issues in his left foot for almost a year. He had surgery last July and played through pain throughout 2021.

“We’re just continuing to be cautious with him and want to be smart about getting him ready,” Reich said on June 1. “In the meantime, he’s locked in doing all his stuff getting mentally – he’s prepared. It’s as if he’s in there. So we’ll continue to evaluate him as we go.”

Reich added that there has been no discussion of whether Leonard should undergo another surgery on his left ankle.

Leonard has been one of the top inside linebackers in the NFL since he arrived with the Colts in 2018. He’s made the All-Pro team in each of his four seasons, including first-team All-Pro in 2018, 2020 and 2021.

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