Colts LB Darius Leonard Wants 40 Tackles vs. Giants After Pro Bowl Snub

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistDecember 19, 2018

JACKSONVILLE, FL - DECEMBER 02: Darius Leonard #53 of the Indianapolis Colts in action against the Jacksonville Jaguars during the game at TIAA Bank Field on December 2, 2018 in Jacksonville, Florida. The Jaguars won 6-0. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Indianapolis Colts linebacker Darius Leonard is prepared to test the limits of what's possible on a football field in response to only receiving alternate status for the 2019 Pro Bowl. 

"He told me he wanted 40 tackles, but I told him it's humanly impossible," Colts tight end Eric Ebron said of his teammate, per ESPN.com's Mike Wells. "He doesn't care ... Things like [the Pro Bowl] should really go by statistics rather than names. He's one of the all-time great rookie linebackers statistically in a long time."

Wells also shared Leonard's thoughts about the matter.

"I was heartbroken at first because I thought I did enough, but it is what it is," Leonard said.

Leonard leads the NFL with 146 combined tackles and also has seven sacks and four forced fumbles. After the Pro Bowl rosters were announced Tuesday night, many argued the second-round draft pick was an obvious snub.

Bill Barnwell @billbarnwell

You can’t get mad about a Pro Bowl snub unless you nominate someone to be taken off the roster in the place of that snub. So… https://t.co/NZxz6VzWva

Zak Keefer @zkeefer

Let me see if I understand this... Darius Leonard » leads the entire league in tackles (by 22!) » has more than any rookie through 13 games in NFL history » has 7 sacks, 2nd most among rookies » 4 forced fumbles, 7 PDs, INT ... and still doesn't get a Pro Bowl bid?

Daniel Jeremiah @MoveTheSticks

I was on the phone with an executive from an NFC team when the Pro Bowl was announced. I told him Darius Leonard didn't make it. His response, "Are you serious? That's ridiculous." He's having a tremendous season.

Leonard will probably get into the Pro Bowl anyway since numerous players sit out the event every year. The 2016 Pro Bowl famously saw 133 players either formally selected for the game or named as a replacement.

Leonard would likely be the first name called if one of the AFC's representatives at outside linebacker backs out.

Maybe Leonard's anger about the initial oversight will allow him to tap into previously unknown human capabilities because that's what he'd need to do in order to live up to his comments to Ebron. According to Pro Football Reference, David Harris and Luke Kuechly share the single-game record for tackles, which stands at 24.

If Leonard does actually get 40 tackles, then we could be witnessing the oddest superhero origin story ever.


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