Sources: Duke’s Leonard (toe) out extended time
Pete Thamel, ESPNNov 2, 2023, 04:20 PM ET
Duke quarterback Riley Leonard will miss an “prolonged time period” with a left toe injury suffered late in the game against Louisville on Saturday, sources informed ESPN.His absence versus Wake Forest on Thursday night indicates that real freshman Grayson Loftis will get his first career start. He’s tossed just 5 overall passes in his career.A conclusive schedule on Leonard’s potential return from this injury has yet to be determined, per sources. It’s not a certainty that he’ll be back this year, per ESPN sources, although any possibility of a return would come much later on in the year.Leonard emerged this year as one of the sport’s breakout stars, leading Duke to its
highest Associated Press survey ranking– No. 16– considering that 1994. He’s thrown for 1,102 backyards and three touchdowns and is likewise Duke’s 3rd leading rush with 352 yards and 4 touchdowns.The toe injury is various than the high ankle sprain he suffered late in the game versus Notre Dame on Sept. 30 that forced him to miss one game earlier this season. He re-aggravated that ankle injury against Florida State 2 weeks ago before harming the toe on the opposite foot last week against Louisville.Duke went 9-4 in 2015 in Leonard’s very first season as a starter, which coincided with coach Mike Elko’s arrival in Durham. Heaven Devils are 5-3 this season and one win from back-to-back bowls, a substantial achievement at a program that’s reached simply 15 total bowls in program history.Duke has lost 2 straight games after opening the season 5-1, which included a declaration 28-7 win over Clemson to open the season. Duke is 2-2 in ACC play after beginning conference play 2-0 with wins over the Tigers and NC State.Duke’s normal back-up, Henry Belin IV, is still handling an upper-body injury and is anticipated to be limited versus Wake Forest. His injury permitted Loftis to take first-team associates in practice this week.Leonard’s toe injury appeared to emerge late in the game against Louisville. He
was visibly hobbling after a long fourth-quarter completion with almost 7 minutes staying. Loftis changed him on the next drive with about 4 minutes remaining.Wake Forest(4-4 )is expected to get in the game healthy at quarterback, as starter Mitch Griffis returned recently after missing out on the Pittsburgh game two weeks ago with an undisclosed injury.