Riley Leonard surgery sparks backlash, confusion over how long he's out

Riley Leonard's ankle injury was well known. Just how into his Notre Dame football career it's going to hamper him is a question.

Sep 30, 2023; Durham, North Carolina, USA; Duke Blue Devils quarterback Riley Leonard (13) is helped
Sep 30, 2023; Durham, North Carolina, USA; Duke Blue Devils quarterback Riley Leonard (13) is helped / Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports
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Some Notre Dame football fans were already nervous about Riley Leonard behind center for the Fighting Irish in 2024. It’s a safe bet that some somewhat conflicting reports that surfaced on Tuesday didn’t make that better.

Leonard suffered an injury to his ankle last year - in Duke’s game against Notre Dame - that hampered him the rest of the season. Earlier this month, it appears he finally had the surgery that was meant to fix the ankle issue entirely.

Where things got a bit dicey were some clashes online as to just how long Leonard will be out. Some initial reports claimed that he could miss a decent amount of the winter practice schedule and could even miss a decent amount of spring practice. 

The obvious worry is that Riley Leonard might even miss the spring game. Of course, even if he did miss the spring, there is no actual concern that he’ll be out for the fall. Still, some Notre Dame football fans started to get concerned the Irish had gotten themselves damaged goods.

According to The Athletic, Leonard is expected to need six to eight weeks of recovery time following the procedure. That would indeed should push up against the start of spring practice.

However, not long after reports that the odds-on favorite to be the starting quarterback for the Irish would miss so much time, the team’s athletic trainer Rob Hunt took to social media to contradict at least part of the report.

Hunt didn’t elaborate on which part of the report was inaccurate, leaving confusion still the name of the game over Riley Leonard.

Notre Dame football finds confusion over Riley Leonard injury

Rivals, among others reported that while the quarterback did have the surgery a few weeks ago, there’s no real concern he won’t be ready for the beginning of Spring Practice.

The real question now, appears to be just how hampered will Riley Leonard be for the Notre Dame football Blue-Gold game. Will the Irish risk letting him play in that game? The story is one to keep an eye on for sure.