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Duke football's Mark Gilbert, Josh Blackwell out indefinitely after surgeries

Gilbert, who intercepted his first pass in three years just four days ago, will have to sit out alongside Blackwell due to injury.
Gilbert, who intercepted his first pass in three years just four days ago, will have to sit out alongside Blackwell due to injury.

Duke will be without two key members of the secondary during Saturday's battle against Virginia, and likely for the foreseeable future.

In separate statements released this afternoon, the program announced that starting cornerbacks Josh Blackwell and Mark Gilbert both had to undergo surgery earlier this week. Blackwell's surgery was for a torn right meniscus, while Gilbert's was to remove a loose bone fragment in his foot. Both are expected to be out indefinitely

Blackwell, a redshirt junior, tallied four tackles in the first two outings of the season, including one tackle for loss against Notre Dame. The Buford, Ga., native also served as the punt returner for the first two weeks, racking up 35 yards on five returns. 

Gilbert, a redshirt senior from Fayetteville, NC., accumulated seven tackles through the first two weeks and recorded his first interception since 2017 this past Saturday against Boston College. The former All-ACC cornerback missed all of last season and most of the season prior after dislocating his hip early in the 2018 campaign.

Duke will now look for reserves to step up in the absence of both Blackwell and Gilbert.

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