Indianapolis Colts linebacker Darius Leonard is back at practice and close to returning from a Week 2 concussion that forced him to miss the last three games.
It wasn't an easy road to recovery, as the second-year pro told The Athletic's Stephen Holder that he grew quite concerned about the severe symptoms he was experiencing.
"The third week, that's when I really started thinking, 'Wait a minute. Now I have a wife and kid. I've had a headache for three weeks. Will I ever be the same? Do I keep playing?' You have those thoughts in the back of your head," said Leonard.
He later clarified on Twitter that he never considered retirement:
The 2018 Defensive Rookie of the Year amassed 10 tackles in Week 2, and he speculated that his concussion occurred in the first quarter of that game. His symptoms didn't set in until after his postgame shower.
The South Carolina State product also said the team's medical staff insisted on him staying home for nearly two weeks after the injury, with Leonard visiting the Colts' facility only for daily 30-minute concussion protocol tests before going back home to sit in a dark space.
The Colts are coming off a big win over the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 5. Following a Week 6 bye, Indianapolis will look to stay in the win column when the division rival Houston Texans visit Lucas Oil Stadium on Sunday.