Kelby Brown to miss 2014 season with torn ACL

Duke has already been dealt its first major blow more than three weeks before the 2014 season is set to begin.

The Blue Devils announced Tuesday morning that they will be without redshirt senior linebacker Kelby Brown for the entire 2014 season after he suffered a torn ACL in his left knee in a scrimmage Monday night. Brown, a preseason All-ACC selection, ranked second in the ACC with 114 tackles and added 11 tackles for a loss and two interceptions in 2013.

Brown is scheduled to have surgery Wednesday.

“Obviously our hearts go out to Kelby and his family,” Duke head coach David Cutcliffe said in a statement released by the team. “Here is a young man who is an All-ACC and All-America-type player on the field, and even a better person off the field. He has been and will continue to be an integral part of our program. He’s as fine a representative of our program as we have, and nothing will change that. He’s seen this type of adversity before, and I’m confident he’ll overcome this challenge.”

Health has been an issue for Brown during his collegiate career. He has a history of knee injuries and missed the entire 2012 season after surgery to repair another torn ACL. He also tore his ACL and MCL at the end of his freshman season in 2010. Both previous surgeries were in his right knee—Brown's latest injury is to his left knee.

With multiple seasons missed due to injury, Brown would be a compelling candidate to receive a hardship waiver from the NCAA and a sixth year of eligibility, but no such plan to apply for one has been made at this time. Duke saw defensive end Kenny Anunike granted a sixth year of eligibility and play a key role in the 2013 team that won the Coastal Division.

Following Brown's injury, junior Deion Williams took reps with the first team defense. Cutcliffe will likely have a look at a number of Duke's young linebackers before naming a starter in Brown's stead.


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