Sports

Three weeks after injury, Daniel Jones is returning to quarterback Duke

Duke head coach David Cutcliffe speaks with quarterback Daniel Jones (17) in the first quarter after a series of plays. Duke opened the 2018 football season with a win against Army 34-14 at Wallace Wade Stadium in Durham, N.C., Friday, August 31, 2018.
Duke head coach David Cutcliffe speaks with quarterback Daniel Jones (17) in the first quarter after a series of plays. Duke opened the 2018 football season with a win against Army 34-14 at Wallace Wade Stadium in Durham, N.C., Friday, August 31, 2018. cliddy@newsobserver.com

Just three weeks after breaking his collarbone, Daniel Jones is back as Duke’s starting quarterback.

The redshirt junior will start for the No. 22 Blue Devils (4-0) in Saturday night’s 7 p.m. ACC game against Virginia Tech, coach David Cutcliffe announced.

The 6-5, 220-pound Jones fractured his collarbone on Sept. 8 when he was sacked during the third quarter of Duke’s 21-7 with at Northwestern. He had surgery the following day and Duke announced he was out indefinitely.

When redshirt junior Quentin Harris started the following week at Baylor, it ended Jones’ streak of 27 consecutive starts as Duke’s quarterback. But Jones was on the sideline that day, wearing a headset to communicate with the coaches and counseling Harris, who threw three touchdown passes in a 40-27 Blue Devils win on Sept. 15.

Jones returned to practice four days later but wasn’t in uniform when Harris threw three more touchdown passes in Duke’s 55-13 win over N.C. Central at Wallace Wade Stadium last Saturday.

Since then, Jones progressed to sharing repetitions with Harris and redshirt freshman quarterback Chris Katrenick this week. After consulting with the team’s medical staff, Cutcliffe decided to have Jones start against the Hokies.

This season, playing against Army and Northwestern, Jones completed 29 of 39 passes (74.4 percent) for 389 yards with four touchdowns and no interceptions.

Harris completed 29 of 59 passes (49.2 percent) for 388 yards with six touchdown throws and no interceptions.

Jones has 12 rushes for 40 yards while Harris gained 141 yards on 26 attempts.

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