Darius Leonard: Cleared To Return For Game Action

Darius Leonard: Cleared To Return For Game Action

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Darius Leonard: Cleared To Return For Game Action

On Tuesday afternoon, Colts linebacker Darius Leonard announced he has been cleared to return to game action after missing the last three weeks.

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INDIANAPOLIS – The three-game absence for Darius Leonard appears to be stopping right there.

On Tuesday afternoon, Leonard took to Instagram to announce that he has been ‘cleared to play again’ after missing the last three weeks due to a concussion.

While the Colts are not practicing this week during their bye, the final clearance in the concussion protocol is by an independent neurologist.

As a reminder, here are the 5 steps in the NFL’s concussion protocol:

1. Rest and Recovery: The player is prescribed rest until his signs and symptoms and neurological examination, including cognitive and balance test, return to baseline status. 

2. Light Aerobic Exercise: Under direct oversight of the team’s medical staff, the player should begin graduated cardiovascular exercise and may also engage in dynamic stretching and balance training. 

3: Continued Aerobic Exercise & Introduction Of Strength Training: The player continues with supervised cardiovascular exercises that are increased and may mimic sport-specific activities, and supervised strength training is introduced. 

4. Football Specific Activities: The player continues cardiovascular, strength and balance training and participates in non-contact football activities (e.g. throwing, catching, running and other position-specific activities). 

5. Full Football Activity/Clearance: Upon clearance by the Team Physician for full football activity involving contact, the player must be examined by the Independent Neurologist consultant (INC) assigned to his Club. If the INC concurs with the team physician that the player’s concussion has resolved, he may participate in the Club’s next practice or game.

Leonard did practice last week, as a limited participant on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. Following Friday’s final practice of the week, Frank Reich said even though Leonard did practice each day, the All-Pro linebacker didn’t completely clear protocol and would miss the Kansas City game.

Without Leonard in the lineup, rookie Bobby Okereke has started alongside Anthony Walker.

After some expected rookie ups and downs in September, Okereke made a couple of critical plays against the Chiefs, especially in pass coverage.

Leonard’s return to game action will come in a very important home matchup with the Houston Texans a week from Sunday (October 20th).

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