After a particularly challenging game against Louisville last Saturday, Duke Blue Devils senior quarterback Riley Leonard will miss Thursday night’s game against the Wake Forest Demon Deacons according to Pete Thamel of ESPN.
Sources: Duke quarterback Riley Leonard will miss an “extended period of time” with a left toe injury suffered late in the game against Louisville. Freshman Grayson Loftis will get his first career start tonight against Wake Forest. https://t.co/dWzbZ02DH1— Pete Thamel (@PeteThamel) November 2, 2023
Leonard finished 9-23 for 121 yards with an interception in the 23-0 loss in the River City, likely ending any hope for the 5-3 Blue Devils to compete for an ACC Championship. While it’s been an outstanding turnaround for Duke under Mike Elko, a series of injuries might make the last third of the schedule even more challenging.
Duke enters the game as a 6.5-point favorite at DraftKings Sportsbook, with the total set at 41. That’s well down from their opening line of -12.5 in earlier trading this week.
Replacement QB Grayson Loftis is just 3-5 for 30 yards under center this year, as true freshman Henry Belvin IV has already played in four games this season, and would be a strong candidate for a redshirt if he’s kept on the bench the rest of the season.
Under an NCAA rule change several years ago, players can maintain their redshirt if they play in four or less games during a football season. Belvin is currently dealing with an upper body injury according to Thamel.