Duke Now: Freshman QB, junior DE on list of preseason injuries

lkeeley@newsobserver.comAugust 5, 2013 

Thomas Sirk still faces a long recovery from the Achilles tendon his ruptured in spring practice. Credit: TAKAAKI IWABU

Football season is officially here in Durham. A few Duke players and head coach David Cutcliffe met with the media earlier this afternoon, and the first practice of the fall will commence tonight at 6:15.

If you missed it, here’s a look at four questions the Blue Devils need to address in order to have a successful season. And here’s a rundown of the notable injury news—a much shorter list of names than the Blue Devils had at this time last year.

Redshirt freshman quarterback Thomas Sirk continues to be out indefinitely while he recovers from his April 10th surgery to repair his ruptured right Achilles tendon. Cutcliffe doesn’t want to rule him out for the season yet, but it’s safe to say he will not be ready for the Aug. 31st opener against N.C. Central.

Redshirt junior Jordan DeWalt-Ondijo is still rehabbing his left ankle after undergoing surgery May 22. The Blue Devils don’t yet know if he will be available for the season’s start, Cutcliffe said. DeWalt-Ondijo is listed as the backup right defensive end on the depth chart, behind Kenny Anunike.

“He’s still trying to get well,” Cutcliffe said of DeWalt-Ondijo. “He’s not yet getting back.”

DeWalt-Ondijo has struggled with injuries dating back to a Nov. 2011 game against Virginia in his redshirt freshman year. It’s too bad, Cutcliffe said, because DeWalt-Ondijo was one of the fastest young defensive ends prospects he has ever had.

Redshirt Senior Justin Foxx, listed as the starting left defensive end, is practicing but will be limited as he continues to work back from the January knee surgery that kept him out of contact drills in the spring.

Those were the only injuries Cutcliffe mentioned Monday—quite a change from last August, when five projected starters were out indefinitely.

“I would love to be one of those teams that everyone is irritated by when you look at them and they’ve had the same starting lineup for 12 games,” Cutcliffe said. “We see that out there on occasion, but we haven’t come close to that. We have 32 guys on this team that have started at least one game for Duke. Thirty-two! That means way too many people have gotten hurt over the last 2-3 years. We need to slow that down a little bit.”

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