Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Riley Leonard injury: Duke loses star QB in final seconds of dramatic loss to Notre Dame

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 30 Notre Dame at Duke
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Duke quarterback Riley Leonard suffered an apparent lower body injury in the closing moments of the No. 17 Blue Devils’ 21-14 loss to No. 11 Notre Dame. The third-year signal-caller appeared to land awkwardly on his right ankle after losing a fumble on what served as Duke’s final offensive play of the night. He was helped off the field by trainers. The full extent of Leonard’s injury is not yet clear.

Duke held a late 14-13 edge Saturday against the Fighting Irish, but Notre Dame took a late lead after Irish running back Audric Estime ran for the go-ahead touchdown with just 31 seconds remaining. The Irish subsequently converted on the two-point conversion to make it 21-14.

Notre Dame quarterback Sam Hartman, who passed for 222 yards and rushed for 23 more in the win, waited for Leonard outside the injury tent as the Duke quarterback underwent evaluation. The two then exchanged words.

Leonard ended the night 12 of 27 passing for 134 yards with a touchdown and interception in the loss, rushing for an additional 88 yards on 18 carries. The centerpiece of Duke’s offense, Riley had passed for 778 yards and two touchdowns on top of 238 yards and four touchdowns rushing across the team’s first four games prior to Saturday. His efforts were critical in the Blue Devils attaining a 4-0 start that included a win over then-No. 9 Clemson in Week 1. 

Leonard and Duke are on a bye in Week 6 before the Blue Devils return to action Oct. 14 at home against North Carolina State. It remains to be see if Leonard will be able to play in that contest. 

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