The Blue Devils knocked off Notre Dame without one of their star seniors for much of the game, and will now have to try to earn their first ACC win without another key captain.
Redshirt senior running back Jela Duncan will miss the Virginia game Saturday at 12:30 p.m. at Wallace Wade Stadium with a leg injury, the team announced Thursday morning in its weekly injury report. The Durham Herald-Sun's Steve Wiseman reported that the injury is an ankle injury.
Breaking news: Duke leading rusher Jela Duncan out for Virginia game with ankle injury.— Stephen Wiseman (@stevewisemanNC) September 29, 2016
Duncan was instrumental in Duke's milestone win against the Fighting Irish, finishing with a career-high 121 yards and a touchdown to power the Blue Devil rushing attack. Without the Charlotte native, junior Shaun Wilson—who had 13 carries for 66 yards against Notre Dame—will likely get more touches against the Cavaliers, along with redshirt junior Joseph Ajeigbe. Zach Boden and Nicodem Pierre could also be likely candidates for carries depending on how far in to their bench head coach David Cutcliffe and his staff want to go.
But Duncan is not the only key contributor who will miss the Blue Devils' second ACC game.
Will linebacker Tinashe Bere—who had five tackles against the Fighting Irish—is out for the season with a leg injury, the team announced. The redshirt sophomore had been supplanted in the lineup by redshirt freshman star Joe Giles-Harris, but played in all four games and provided valuable depth in the heart of defensive coordinator Jim Knowles' defense.
Wiseman reported that Bere's injury was a knee injury and that he recently had surgery to replace cartilage damage.
Bere injury is to knee. Had arthroscopic surgery to repair cartilage damage. Done for season.— Stephen Wiseman (@stevewisemanNC) September 29, 2016
Against Notre Dame, Giles-Harris got off to a slow start and Bere came in to help Duke's defensive turnaround in the second half.
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Thursday's injury report also noted that defensive end Dominic McDonald will be held out for a second straight game with an upper body injury suffered against Northwestern.
Now facing more adversity, the Blue Devils will have to adjust on the fly once again in order to keep their momentum from last week going.