Lake View grad Darius Leonard named AFC defensive player of the week


INDIANAPOLIS – The NFL on Wednesday announced that Indianapolis Colts linebacker Darius Leonard has been named the AFC Defensive Player of the Week for Week 17. This marks the third time in his career that Leonard has earned Player of the Week honors.

In the Colts’ 28-14 win against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Leonard compiled 10 tackles (eight solo), 1.0 sack, two passes defensed and one forced fumble to help Indianapolis clinch a playoff berth. Since entering the NFL in 2018, he has registered 22 games with 10-or-more tackles, which is the second-most over that time frame.

In 2020, Leonard started all 14 regular season games he appeared in and compiled 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. Despite missing two games, he finished eighth in the NFL in total tackles. Since 2000, Leonard became just the fourth player in team history to register 100 tackles in each of their first three seasons in the league. His 416 career tackles are the most by a Colts player in their first three seasons. Since 1987, Leonard is 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, joining cornerback Xavier Rhodes (AFC Defensive Player of the Week for Week 3), linebacker E.J. Speed (AFC Special Teams Player of the Week for Week 10), kicker Rodrigo Blankenship (AFC Special Teams Player of the Week for Week 11), cornerback Kenny Moore II (AFC Defensive Player of the Week for Week 14) and defensive tackle DeForest Buckner (AFC Defensive Player of the Week for Week 15).

Courtesy – Indianapolis Colts

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