Duke

Duke quarterback Thomas Sirk to have surgery after rupturing Achilles tendon

Duke quarterback Thomas Sirk (1) betas the UNC defense in a footrace to score in the second half of play against the Tar Heels. UNC defeated Duke 66-31 at Kenan Stadium in Chapel Hill, N.C. Saturday, November 7, 2015.
Duke quarterback Thomas Sirk (1) betas the UNC defense in a footrace to score in the second half of play against the Tar Heels. UNC defeated Duke 66-31 at Kenan Stadium in Chapel Hill, N.C. Saturday, November 7, 2015. cliddy@newsobserver.com

Duke starting quarterback Thomas Sirk ruptured his left Achilles tendon during a conditioning workout Tuesday morning, dealing a blow to the Blue Devils’ 2016 football campaign months before it begins.

Sirk, a redshirt junior, will have surgery Wednesday. There is no timetable for his return.

Sirk missed the 2013 season after rupturing his right Achilles tendon in April of that year. A recovery time of seven months would put him back in the field in September, but if he misses the full year, he would be a candidate for a sixth year of eligibility if he chose to apply for one.

Sirk started 12 games last season and completed 58.8 percent of his passes (251-of-427) for 2,625 yards, 16 touchdowns and eight interceptions. His strongest attribute was his ability to run the ball, and he led Duke (8-5) with 803 rushing yards and eight touchdowns on 163 carries (4.9 yards per attempt). He didn’t shy away from running between the tackles.

Redshirt sophomore Parker Boehme served as Sirk’s backup last season. He started one game, a 31-13 loss to Pittsburgh. For the season, Boehme completed 55.1 percent of his passes (43-of-78) for 579 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. He also averaged 4.0 yards per carry (45 attempts, 181 yards, five touchdowns). Freshmen Quentin Harris and Daniel Jones are the other scholarship quarterbacks on the roster, and neither has any game experience.

Without Sirk on the field, the Blue Devils also lose their most proven leader. Finding a replacement for that role will be a goal for spring practice, which will start in early March.

Laura Keeley: 919-829-4556, @laurakeeley

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