Duke QB Riley Leonard (toe) out for ‘extended time’

Field Level Media

November 02, 2023 at 9:19 pm.

Duke quarterback Riley Leonard has an injured left toe and will be out for an “extended” period, ESPN reported.

That means freshman Grayson Loftis will start his first college game Thursday night against Wake Forest (4-4, 1-4 Atlantic Coast Conference) in Durham, N.C.

Leonard hurt his toe late in Saturday’s loss to Louisville. He previously suffered a right ankle injury in a loss to Notre Dame on Sept. 30.

He missed the Oct. 14 home win over North Carolina State but played the past two weeks — losses to ranked opponents Florida State and Louisville. The Blue Devils are 5-3, 2-2.

Henry Belin IV, who started against NC State, has an upper-body injury, opening the door for Loftis.

Loftis, a freshman from Gaffney, S.C., has thrown just five college passes, completing three of them for 30 yards against Louisville.

Per ESPN, no timeline has been established for Leonard to return to the Duke lineup. The junior has completed 95 of 165 passing attempts for 1,102 yards with three touchdowns and three interceptions. He’s added 352 rushing yards and four TDs on the ground.

Last season, Leonard appeared in 13 games and threw for 2,967 yards with 20 touchdowns and six interceptions. He also ran for 699 yards and 13 touchdowns. He was named MVP of the Military Bowl.

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