Vivant Edu

Colts LB Darius Leonard isn’t vaccinated. Here’s why (in his own word)

INDIANAPOLIS — Darius Leonard is not vaccinated.

The Indianapolis Colts superstar linebacker understands what that means for his 2021 season. He understands that by making that decision, he’s taking on a mountain of added stress and burden that his vaccinated teammates are not. 

He also understands that even if he follows league protocols to the letter, he’s far more susceptible to missing games as a close contact — something that’s not true for vaccinated players. 

He knows all of that, and yet he’s decided not to receive the vaccine. Why? Here’s Darius Leonard on that subject, in his own words:

Why isn’t Colts linebacker Darius Leonard vaccinated?

“I think that’s a personal decision of mine. I’m a bounce-off guy, just wanting to see more, want to learn more, want to get more educated about it. Just got to think about it. I don’t want to rush into it. I got to see everything. I’m listening to all of the vaccinated guys here. I’m not like you see on social media. I’m not pro-vax. I’m not anti-vax. I got to learn. When you don’t know a lot about something, you have to educate yourself about it. You have to figure out what it is, and you got to make a decision. You got to make sure you understand your decision, make sure you understand what’s going in your body, the long-term effects, the stuff like that. I think once I get a grasp of it, just like the playbook, you got to get comfortable with it before you can go out and say, ‘I’m going to go out and put this in my body.’”

Indianapolis Colts outside linebacker Darius Leonard (53) during the day's Colts camp practice at Grand Park in Westfield on Wednesday, Aug. 18, 2021.

Does Darius Leonard think teammates going on the Reserve/COVID-19 list is a wake up call to get vaccinated?

“I’m not going to say a wake-up call, because you know it can happen. It was the same thing last year. You think about when DeForest (Buckner) missed the Tennessee game (in 2020). You think about it, so you know that you have to follow the protocols. You have to do that. It just sucks, because you can follow the protocols to a T as an unvaccinated player, and you still can get dinged. That’s one thing that sucks. You have to make sure that you, with the Kinexon (tracking device), you have to make sure that you’re not staying, talking to someone for over two minutes. You have to make sure you’re thinking about it 24/7. You can’t get lackadaisical. Because you can get dinged just as quick — it’s way quicker than it was last year, so you have to think about that as well.” 

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