INDIANAPOLIS – ‘Tis the season for giving back.

Colts players spent Thanksgiving week helping Hoosiers in need.

“It’s a time to give thanks and be grateful for everything,” safety Rodney McLeod said. “I’m extremely grateful for what God’s allowed me to be able to do, play football, but be able to help my community.”

Both linebacker Shaquille Leonard and McLeod distributed food in the community to ensure local families are fed and able to focus on celebrating together.

“It’s important for us to be able to help support people who are dealing with food insecurity, something big in our country right now,” said McLeod.

“I know what it felt like to not have much,” Leonard said. “I can be a blessing to somebody to put a smile on their face.”

For Leonard, staying active in the community takes on a new meaning this holiday season not that he is on the injured reserve after back surgery.

“It’s so important, especially not being on the field,” said Leonard. “One way for me to give back to this community is actually going out being able to play good football. Now that I’m not, now it’s me in the community. How can I give back as best as I possibly can? How can I show my face? How can I be the best version of the Indianapolis Colts? Be Shaquille Leonard for the town.”

“The Maniac” continues to live up to his nickname on the sidelines, encouraging his teammates and doesn’t think that will change over the final few weeks of the season.

“I want to be out there,” Leonard said. “I want to compete, but I can’t do that, so I have to make sure that I have to prepare as I’m going to play. Prepare as I’m going to be the best coach on the field to giving guys a great opportunity. I’m just ready to go out and prove everybody wrong.”

Until then, Leonard has one goal.

“Rest, let the body heal, be prepared mentally and emotionally,” said Leonard. “Then when the time comes, physically.”