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Darius Leonard Not Picked for Pro Bowl, Wants 40 Tackles Sunday

The entire offense for the New York Giants should focus on just one of the 11 defense players for the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday, as rookie linebacker Darius Leonard will be on a mission.

Leonard, who leads the NFL in tackles, said his goal for Sunday’s game with the Giants is 40 tackles, which will help him make up for not being selected this week to the Pro Bowl.

Colts tight end Eric Ebron said that Leonard told home he wanted to have 40 tackles in Sunday’s game with the Giants.

Leonard on Wednesday said he had been stunned to find out from his general manager Chris Ballard and head coach Frank Reich that he was not selected for his first in what will likely be many appearances in the Pro Bowl.

Leonard called the news heartbreaking because he felt he had done enough, but then said it was what it was.

When a reporter asked him how upset he had been between 1-and-10 Leonard answered twenty, saying he knew how much he had done and knows now he needs to keep improving.

Leonard, who was picked in the second round from South Carolina State, leads the NFL in tackles with 146, with the next closest player Luke Kuechly 22 behind at 124.  Leonard has seven quarterback sacks, as well as four forced fumbles and one interception.

Selected ahead of Leonard were Jadeveon Clowney from Houston, Dee Ford from Kansas City and Von Miller from Denver as the AFC’s outside linebackers. Leonard was chosen as an alternate.

Ebron and Quenton Nelson, a guard, were the only players on the Colts chosen for the Pro Bowl. The Colts had four other alternates named beside Leonard including wide receiver T.Y. Hilton, center Ryan Kelly, defensive lineman Denico Autry, and quarterback Andrew Luck.

If Leonard makes 40 tackles on Sunday he would easily smash the existing single-game record for tackles of 24 held by David Harris and Kuechly. Leonard’s high for the season through 14 games has been 19 in Week 2 versus the Redskins.

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