Sean Renfree did not play last week against Virginia due to his elbow injury. Credit: CHRIS SEWARD
DURHAM—Injured quarterback Sean Renfree was an active participant in Duke’s practice Tuesday, head coach David Cutcliffe announced at his weekly press conference. Renfree suffered an elbow injury in the third quarter of Duke’s win over Wake Forest and did not play last week against Virginia.
Cutcliffe said a decision on whether Renfree or Anthony Boone will start will come later in the week.
“He and Anthony are going to trade reps and work,” Cutcliffe said. “We’re just going to see where is health is. But he had a good start to the week. We’ll see how the week goes.”
The fact that Renfree can take reps shows improvement from his condition last week. While he was at practice all week, dressed in full pads and wearing a black protective sleeve over his elbow, Renfree was not able to take snaps. Instead, he stood behind Boone and practiced his footwork without handling a ball.
Boone performed well in his first career start, going 18-of-31 for 212 yards and four touchdowns. He also ran for 41 yards on seven rushing attempts.
Cutcliffe said the team would wait and see how Renfree felt tomorrow, and through the rest of the week, before any decision is made.
“I’ve got to watch how many balls he’s going to throw,” Cutcliffe said. “Just see, again, what you don’t know is after you practice and throw a little bit more than what you’ve been doing, what is he going to be like tomorrow morning. I can’t predict those things.”
Even if Renfree is healthy enough to start, Duke will likely still use Boone at times. Cutcliffe likes playing multiple quarterbacks (in part to keep the backup ready in case the starter goes down), and Boone, with his running ability, does add an extra dimension to the offense.
“Sean is like me, we’ve all talked about it, if we get them both healthy at the same time, we’ve got to use talents to help us win games, period,” Cutcliffe said. “We have no fear, obviously, of playing Anthony. And Sean has no fear or problem with that. That’s just what captains do, that’s what good football teams do.”
In other injury news, DL Jamal Bruce, DL Justin Foxx, S Brandon Braxton and S Chris Taravez all practiced today, Cutcliffe said. The first three are starters who have missed various lengths of time. Braxton did not play last week, Foxx has been out after having surgery in his finger after the Stanford game, and Bruce has not played at all this year.
Decisions on whether any of those listed above will play against Virginia Tech will also come later in the week. Still, it's progress for the injury-plauged team.
“It’s pretty significant for a wounded team to get some bodies back,” Cutcliffe said. “It boosted our defense’s moral today.”