Indianapolis ruled out both linebacker Shaquille Leonard and defensive lineman Tyquan Lewis for Week 5 on October 3. Both players began preparation for the game in the NFL’s concussion protocol.
Interestingly, ESPN’s Stephen Holder reported that the decision to rule out each defender was a team decision, meaning it came “independent of the concussion protocol.”
Either way, the result is the same. Leonard and Lewis will not be able to help the Colts try to get back to a .500 record.
Leonard Suffered Concussion Versus Titans
The 3-time All-Pro linebacker sat out the first 3 games of the 2022 season while recovering from a back injury. Leonard was returned to the field in Week 4 versus the Tennessee Titans, but his return was short lived.
The Indianapolis defense has played well without Leonard this season, but there’s no way to replace a 3-time All-Pro. The Colts will miss him again versus the Broncos in a game Indianapolis badly needs to win.
Lewis Developed Concussion Symptoms After Facing Titans
The 27-year-old defensive tackle played the entire Colts-Titans matchup, but he notified the team after the game that he was feeling concussion-like symptoms.
Not that the Colts didn’t already take concussions seriously, but the organization may be approaching head injuries with extra precaution after what happened last Thursday night with Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa.
The Dolphins signal caller appeared to hit his head on the turf and then staggered to get up during the second quarter in a game against the Buffalo Bills on September 25. But then Tagovailoa returned to the game and played against the Cincinnati Bengals 4 days later only to take another hit to the head and suffer a confirmed concussion.
The entire situation was a bad look for the Dolphins and NFL.
Wisely, the Colts aren’t going to put themselves in that position and have already ruled out Leonard and Lewis without even giving them a chance to clear protocol. Indianapolis also declared the 2 defenders unavailable without any input from independent doctors.
Lewis started his first game of the season on October 2 against the Titans. He has 6 combined tackles, 1 quarterback hit and 1 pass defense this season.
Jonathan Taylor’s Status For Week 5 Remains Uncertain
While the Colts ruled out Leonard and Lewis, Taylor could still play on October 6. The Indianapolis running back suffered an ankle injury in Week 4.
NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported on October 3 that Taylor’s injury is “not overly serious.” However, Rapoport also said the running back’s injured ankle is something “to keep an eye on” considering the Colts have a short week in Week 5.
The Colts really need Taylor and the running game to get going. Taylor has averaged 2.8 yards per carry over the last 2 games. Indianapolis posted under 2.0 yards per rush in the loss versus the Titans in Week 4.