Duke coach David Cutcliffe announced Saturday that quarterback Thomas Sirk has suffered a partial tear of his left Achilles tendon and will miss the 2016 season.
Sirk, a redshirt senior, ruptured the Achilles tendon in February. His rehab had gone well, allowing him to begin fall practice, but he re-injured the Achilles in a practice Thursday night.
Duke said Sirk again would have surgery, to be performed by Dr. Annunziato Amendola of the Duke Sports Science Institute.
Despite the injury, Sirk has been named one of four team captains by the Blue Devils, joining running back Jela Duncan, safety DeVon Edwards and defensive tackle A.J. Wolf. All are redshirt seniors.
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Sirk missed the 2013 season after rupturing his right Achilles tendon.
Sirk, from Glen St. Mary, Fla., started 12 games in 2015, passing for 2,625 yards and 16 touchdowns while rushing for a team-high 803 yards and eight TDs. He ranked third in the ACC in total offensive yards per game (285.7), fifth in passing yards (218.8) and 10th in rushing yards (66.9).
Daniel Jones, a redshirt freshman from Charlotte, could be the starter at quarterback when the Blue Devils open the season Sept. 3 against N.C. Central at Wallace Wade Stadium. Jones had been working with the No. 1 offensive unit and was effective in a scrimmage last week, passing for two scores.
Parker Boehme, a redshirt junior, played in 10 games last season, starting against Pittsburgh. The Blue Devils also have Quentin Harris, a redshirt freshman.
A week ago Saturday, Sirk sat in Pascal Field House, smiling, signing autographs and posing for photos with fans on “Meet the Blue Devils” day.
Asked about fall practice, Sirk said, “I’m progressing every day, taking it one step at the time, feeling strong.” He said he was eager to get into full team drills this week but also would be cautious, saying, “I won’t go out and push it to the limits. I don’t want to go out there and do anything that will cause a setback.”
While doing the interview, Sirk’s parents — Eddie and Joy Sirk — stood by, watching, taking it all in.
“My family is everything to me,” Thomas Sirk said. “They’ve always supported me. They haven’t missed any games, even when I wasn’t playing. They’ve helped me get through this process, get through this injury.”
Sirk, who will be 23 on Sept. 24, graduated in May with a degree in political science while minoring in education. He is pursuing a master’s degree in liberal studies.
Sept. 3 vs. N.C. Central
Sept. 10 vs. Wake Forest
Sept. 17 at Northwestern
Sept. 24 at Notre Dame
Oct. 1 vs. Virginia
Oct. 8 vs. Army
Oct. 14 at Louisville
Oct. 29 at Georgia Tech
Nov. 5 vs. Virginia Tech
Nov. 10 vs. North Carolina
Nov. 19 at Pittsburgh
Nov. 26 at Miami