Leonard leads the league in tackles (146) by a wide margin, and he has the most tackles by a rookie in NFL history through 13 games to go along with seven sacks, an interception, six passes defensed, four forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries.
So, it was quite a surprise when his name was left off the Pro Bowl starting roster, which was announced Tuesday.
"When I first found out, I was definitely heartbroken, but then I just used that as fuel just to keep fighting and keep competing," Leonard said Friday on "Good Morning Football." "I was just happy for [Eric] Ebron and [Quenton Nelson], so I just wanted to go out and keep competing and try to put on another show that I need to be in there or I should have been there."
Ebron and Nelson are the two Colts represented on the starting roster, and Leonard was eventually named an alternate, which proved a minor consolation prize.
The rookie linebacker, however, shouldn't get too worked up after being overlooked as a starter for the league's all-star exhibition game.
Given his gaudy production and high-level play, Leonard will have plenty of opportunities to garner end-of-season recognition, including the All-Rookie Team or Defensive Rookie of the Year award.