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Colts LB Darius Leonard (ankle) will play vs. Bills

IndyStar | The Indianapolis Star
IndyStar | The Indianapolis Star
 2021-11-21
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ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — Darius Leonard came close to missing his first game of a season that has been defined in some ways by his ankle injury, but the Colts’ All-Pro linebacker is active for Sunday’s AFC showdown with the Buffalo Bills.

Leonard, who was a game-time decision after feeling his ankle jam up against the Jaguars, has played 98.3% of the Colts’ defensive snaps this season, third-most on the team behind middle linebacker Bobby Okereke and cornerback Kenny Moore.

Veteran starting cornerback Xavier Rhodes is also active after Indianapolis head coach Frank Reich said Friday that they’d have to monitor him going into the game. Rhodes, who has struggled all season long with a calf injury, is expected to rotate with second-year cornerback Isaiah Rodgers.

For the third consecutive game, veteran running back Marlon Mack is inactive as the Colts ride Jonathan Taylor, the NFL’s leading rusher, and satellite back Nyheim Hines, who plays mostly in passing situations.

The No. 3 back on the Colts gameday roster has to play special teams, and undrafted free agent Deon Jackson has played that role the past three weeks.

“It’s painful to make him inactive,” Reich said. “Every week that we’ve had to make him inactive, like I don’t like doing that. But you have to do what’s best for the team

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