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Colts Receive Significant Boost Before Game vs. Commanders

Colts helmet - Titans at Colts

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - OCTOBER 31: Indianapolis Colts helmets sit on the sidelines during the NFL football game between the Tennessee Titans and the Indianapolis Colts on October 31, 2021, at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Michael Allio/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

It's been an up-and-down season for the Indianapolis Colts, who sit at 3-3-1 with a chance of going over .500 against the Washington Commanders this weekend. Those odds are likely to improve after the boost they just got.

Speaking to the media on Friday, Colts head coach Frank Reich announced that All-Pro linebacker Shaq Leonard will be back in the lineup this Sunday against the Commanders. Leonard has missed six games this season and has been dealing with a back injury.

The Colts defense already ranks as a top 15 unit in the absence of Leonard for most of the season. Having him back could see their defense perform even better over these next few weeks.

Leonard is a three-time Pro Bowler and a four-time All-Pro selection who won Rookie of the Year honors in 2018. He averaged over 130 tackles over his first four seasons.

The timing of Shaq Leonard's return to the team comes at a pretty crucial point in the season. Frank Reich has just made the controversial decision to change from Matt Ryan to Sam Ehlinger, who has yet to throw a pass in the NFL.

An improvement on offense combined with the team's continued success on defense could turn the Colts from a fringe playoff team to a real one if they can start stringing together some wins.

What kind of impact will Leonard's return have for the team this weekend?