Duke Johnson Injury: Updates on Miami RB's Head, Likely Return Date
Locked into a tough battle with ACC adversary North Carolina on Thursday night, the undefeated Miami Hurricanes suffered a potentially crushing blow, as star running back Duke Johnson was forced to leave the game in the first quarter.
The Associated Press' Tim Reynolds has the news:
Duke Johnson heading into the locker room was not the sight the Canes needed right now.— Tim Reynolds (@ByTimReynolds) October 18, 2013
Matt Palmer of the Palm Beach Post added a few details, noting that it appeared to be a head injury:
Duke Johnson to the locker room. Took a knee to the head. Was slow to get up.— Matt Porter (@mattyports) October 18, 2013
Johnson has been cleared to play against Wake Forest.
Heather Dinich of ESPN.com is reporting that Johnson has been cleared to play on Saturday against Wake Forest. Johnson spoke about his status:
"I'm fine," Johnson said on a teleconference Monday. "I'm very fine. I'm good."
"I was trying to throw a block, the guy moved at the last moment, took a knee to the head," Johnson said. "Came back the next drive and kind of felt a headache coming on because I suffer from headaches, so I went to the training staff after that."
Johnson said he has a history of migraines.
"It's something I've been dealing with for a while now," he said, adding that his mother also suffers from them. "I'm just trying to get them under control with the training staff, get them under control so I can play without having to worry about it."
Heather Dinich and Andrea Adelson of ESPN:
Duke Johnson on a teleconference just said "I'm fine. I'm good. I'm very good."— ESPN ACC (@ESPN_ACC) October 21, 2013
The Miami Herald's Manny Navarro provides this Duke Johnson update from head coach Al Golden:
Golden said Johnson was taken out of the game by doctors after taking a knee to the helmet and because of his history with migraines.
"He looked very good today, very positive today watching film," Golden said. "We're still evaluating him whether it was a blow that triggered a migraine reaction or a level 1 concussion. We're evalauting that. Because of the time that we have and the way our doctors reacted, it was great and did not cause any additional injury."
UPDATE: Thursday, Oct. 17
From Associated Press reporter Tim Reynolds:
Golden to ESPN: "I think (Duke) is going to be OK."— Tim Reynolds (@ByTimReynolds) October 18, 2013
UPDATE: Thursday, Oct. 17
From Miami's official Twitter account:
Duke Johnson and Phillip Dorsett are out for the remainder of tonight's game.— Hurricanes Football (@MiamiHurricanes) October 18, 2013
After a dynamite freshman season in which Johnson averaged 6.8 yards per carry and scored 11 total touchdowns, he has continued to serve as one of the biggest home-run hitters in all of college football.
Entering Thursday night's contest, he had carried the ball 84 times for 572 yards (6.8 YPC), caught four passes for 77 yards and found the end zone four times.
Before leaving against the Tar Heels, he had already tallied eight carries for 83 yards, including an electric 59-yard scamper to help set up Miami's opening field goal.
Fellow sophomore Dallas Crawford, who has 142 career rushing yards on 31 carries, stepped in for Johnson.
Johnson's health will be an essential part of a Hurricanes team with BCS aspirations this year.
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