Colts linebacker Darius Leonard named AFC Defensive Player of the Week

Colts

Darius Leonard #53 of the Indianapolis Colts celebrates during the game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Lucas Oil Stadium on November 17, 2019 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

INDIANAPOLIS – It’s the Maniac, again.

For the third time in his career, Colts linebacker Darius Leonard has been named AFC Defensive Player of the Week.

Leonard’s latest honor comes after he finished with 10 tackles, a sack, two passes defensed and a forced fumble in Indy’s playoff-clinching win against the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 17.

Leonard’s effort helped propel the Colts into the postseason. They’ll take on the Buffalo Bills Saturday in the first round of the NFL playoffs.

Since entering the NFL in 2018, Leonard has registered 22 games with 10 or more tackles, the second-most over that time frame.

For the 2020 season, Leonard has started in 14 regular season games, compiling 132 tackles (86 solo), 7.0 tackles for loss, 3.0 sacks, seven passes defensed, three forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries en route to being named to the Pro Bowl.

Although he missed two games this year, he finished eighth in the league in total tackles. Since 2000, Leonard is the fourth player in team history to register 100 tackles in each of his first three seasons in the league.

Leonard’s 416 career tackles are the most by a Colts player in their first three seasons. Since 1987, he’s just the 10th player in NFL history to reach 400 career tackles in their first three seasons and tied for the second-fastest player to do it (41 games).

Leonard is the sixth Indianapolis player to earn AFC Player of the Week honors this season:

  • Xavier Rhodes (AFC Defensive Player of the Week for Week 3)
  • E.J. Speed (AFC Special Teams Player of the Week for Week 10)
  • Rodrigo Blankenship (AFC Special Teams Player of the Week for Week 11)
  • Kenny Moore II (AFC Defensive Player of the Week for Week 14)
  • DeForest Buckner (AFC Defensive Player of the Week for Week 15)

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