Riley Leonard injured: Duke loses star QB in final seconds of dramatic loss to Notre Dame

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Duke quarterback Riley Leonard suffered a lower-body injury in the final moments of the 11th-ranked Blue Devils’ 21-14 loss to 11th-ranked Notre Dame. The third-year signal-caller landed awkwardly on his right ankle after losing a fumble on what served as Duke’s final offensive play of the night. He was helped off the field by coaches. The full extent of Leonard’s injury is still unclear.

Duke rallied late Saturday against the Fighting Irish 14-13, but Notre Dame took a late lead after Irish running back Audrey Estime ran for the go-ahead touchdown with 31 seconds left. The Irish converted the two point conversion to make it 21-14.

Notre Dame quarterback Sam Hartman, who passed for 222 yards and rushed for 23 more in the win, waited for Leonard outside the injury tent as the Duke quarterback underwent an evaluation. The two then exchanged words.

Leonard rushed for an additional 88 yards on 18 carries, going 12-for-27 for 134 yards and finishing with an interception for a loss. The centerpiece of Duke’s offense, Riley rushed for 778 yards and two touchdowns over 238 yards and four touchdowns in the team’s first four games prior to Saturday. His efforts were instrumental in helping the Blue Devils get off to a 4-0 start, including a win over then-No. 9 at Clemson in Week 1.

Leonard and Duke are off in Week 6 before the Blue Devils play at home against North Carolina State on Oct. 14. It remains to be seen if Leonard will be able to play in that game.

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