Another Riley Leonard surgery puts a cloud over Notre Dame football

  • Riley Leonard had another ankle surgery on Friday.
  • The transfer quarterback will miss most of Notre Dame football's spring practice.

Notre Dame quarterback Riley Leonard (13) at Notre Dame spring football practice
Notre Dame quarterback Riley Leonard (13) at Notre Dame spring football practice / GREG SWIERCZ / USA TODAY NETWORK
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There is quite a bit of excitement over Notre Dame football heading into 2024. One of the biggest reasons is that the Fighting Irish have a quarterback who, when healthy, can hurt opponents in many different ways. But what if he’s not healthy?

For the time being, Riley Leonard is not healthy. And the fact that he hasn’t been healthy for a while now almost certainly has some Notre Dame football backers on edge.

On Saturday morning, Irish head coach Marcus Freeman explained that Leonard required another surgery on his injured ankle. This new surgery addressed a developing stress fracture and replaced the plate in his ankle.

That announcement raised a lot of questions. The most pressing is “should Notre Dame football fans be worried that Leonard’s ankle is going to be an issue this fall?” Some will almost certainly say that this latest surgery should take of everything.

However, the fact of the matter is that the talk around the transfer quarterback has long been “ok now he’s fixed.” And he wasn’t.

Notre Dame football has questions after another Riley Leonard injury

Other questions pop up that aren’t as pressing. Freeman talked about wanting to name a starting quarterback before the fall. However, most people believe that Leonard will get that job no matter when it is.

He likely wouldn’t have left Duke if he really believed he would fight for a starting spot. On the other hand, Steve Angeli has done everything asked of him.

There’s also CJ Carr. The true freshman has impressed people since arriving in South Bend. He got a jump on the competition when he showed up just ahead of the bowl game. And since then he’s played well.

At the same time, if the Notre Dame football team names anyone besides Riley Leonard as the starter, it’s going to be seen as a problem. Especially with so many other good transfer quarterbacks who were on the market this winter.