Daniel Jones needed surgery on Sept. 9 to address the broken clavicle he suffered a day earlier during Duke’s game at Northwestern.
This week, though, the Blue Devils redshirt junior quarterback is back on the practice field, wearing pads, in what looks like rapid progress toward a return to playing.
“Daniel is actually getting some good practice time right now,” Duke coach David Cutcliffe said Wednesday. “He’s a tough young man, so he has actually put on pads and gone through practice. He’s no-contact, obviously, but he’s gaining his confidence back. He’s moving well. He’s running well. So it’s hard to say. We’re still indefinite, but our medical people are absolutely amazed at what he’s doing. But as always, his safety will be first and foremost in whatever decision we make.”
Jones, who’s 6-4, 22 pounds, and in his third season as Duke’s starting quarterback, broke his clavicle when he was sacked late in the third quarter of Duke’s 21-7 win at Northwestern on Sept. 8. The following day, the Blue Devils announced that Duke surgeons Dr. Annunziato Amendola and Dr. Jonathan Riboh performed surgery on Jones and that he was out indefinitely.
Jones, a right-handed thrower, was injured on his left side, which means he could miss as little as four weeks.
Redshirt junior Quentin Harris started and threw three touchdown passes in Duke’s 40-27 win at Baylor last Saturday. That ended Jones’ streak of 27 consecutive starts as Duke’s quarterback but Harris performed well in his absence.
“We didn’t turn the ball over,” Cutcliffe said. “We didn’t have penalties. And that’s what the No. 1 job of being a quarterback is is to make sure all 10 players around him are in position to do their job, and he did that really well. He’ll grow from this. I think he can get a little bit better quickly in pre-snap reads and running the tempo of the game from that perspective, and I’m excited for him as he goes into game No. 2 as a starter. I think we’ll see a better product this week.”
Duke (3-0) plays N.C. Central at home on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. and Harris is working the the No. 1 offense in preparation to start that game.
The Blue Devils open their ACC schedule at home against Virginia Tech on Sept. 29 at 7 p.m. Following an open week, the Blue Devils play at Georgia Tech on Oct. 13.