A tough couple of weeks for Duke got even tougher Monday with the news that backup quarterback Sean Renfree and starting offensive lineman Mitchell Lederman will miss the rest of the season.
Lederman suffered a broken toe against North Carolina Nov. 7 and did not play Saturdy against Georgia Tech. He had played in all nine games this season prior to the matchup with the Yellow Jackets, and had started seven times protecting quarterback Thaddeus Lewis’s blind side at left guard.
The injury to Renfree, though, has more long-term repercussions. Renfree suffered a torn right ACL against Georgia Tech, and the injury’s rehabilitation period typically extends for several months, if not longer. Renfree had played in five games this season, with his best performance coming in an early-season win against Army.
Renfree’s setback will cost him the last two games of this year, but it could affect the Blue Devils in other ways as well. All of a sudden, Duke’s depth at the quarterback position is gone; if Lewis, who has struggled with a leg injury the last two weeks, cannot play in either of the team’s last two games, the Blue Devils would be left with no experienced signal-callers. In such a situation, head coach David Cutcliffe could be tempted to use freshman Sean Schroeder, who means to redshirt this season as Renfree did last year. Aside from Schroeder, Duke has no other quarterbacks on the roster.
The torn ACL could also force Renfree to miss spring practice altogether, although no prognosis has yet been given for his recovery. Renfree has been labeled as Duke’s quarterback of the future, and that future looks more clouded today than it did before Saturday’s contest.
The Blue Devils close the season with a road game at Miami Saturday and a home tilt with Wake Forest Nov. 28.
Video by Chase Olivieri/The Chronicle