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Riley Leonard's TightRope Ankle Surgery Will Stabilize the Irish Offense in 2024

Written by Liam Farrell|Senior Staff Writer|Twitter/X: @LiamFarrell_IT

Photo by The Irish Tribune


SOUTH BEND, Ind. - Projected starting Quarterback Riley Leonard spoke with the media today about the logistics of his high ankle surgery.


Leonard, who threw for 4,450 yards during his time with the Duke Blue Devils, was the key acquisition Head Coach Marcus Freeman needed to make to turn Notre Dame into a national championship caliber team.


During the 21-14 Irish rollercoaster meeting last year with the Blue Devils, Leonard endured a high ankle injury at the end of the game, as it got twisted up on a Howard Cross III strip-sack.


Leonard joked with the media today saying that Cross "owes [him] a dinner...Ruth's Chris is right down the street."





The ankle injury limited Leonard's production for the remainder of the 2023 season, as he never reached his full playing potential after the heartbreaking September loss to Notre Dame. He tried to return to the field a few weeks later against Florida State in Tallahassee but was seen in agonizing pain in-between plays and was pulled out of the game before the end of the first half.


There were conflicting reports on the healing of Leonard's ankle and how it would factor into the preparation of the Irish offense in 2024. Leonard confirmed his health update in the presser earlier today.


He stated that it was a TightRope high ankle surgery and expects to be cleared for practices in a couple weeks. He can still partake in some of the Winter workouts with the team, as he was spotted in a photo with true freshman CJ Carr during a workout yesterday posted by the Notre Dame Football account, as seen below.


Via Notre Dame Football


As winter workouts have been in full swing, the attention has shifted to another offseason signing made by Marcus Freeman: Loren Landow.


Landow is as experienced as they come from a personal private instructor, mentoring the likes of San Francisco 49ers' star Christian McCaffrey and future Hall-of-Famer and Super Bowl MVP Von Miller.


Landow's impact in the weight room hasn't gone unnoticed, especially from the incoming freshmen trying to adjust to the physicality at the college level.


"Loren Landow is the real deal," said freshman running back Kedren Young.


In a loaded running back room, Young is trying everything he can to make a name for himself during these winter workouts.


Even with the return of Jeremiyah Love, Jadarian Price, and Gi'Bran Payne, Young could get some snaps if he makes a good impression during the offseason practices. It isn't uncommon for the Irish to roll out true freshman running backs onto the field, with the best examples of that being Love (2023), Diggs (2021), and Adams (2015).


That is all from the player meetings today, and we'll continue to track the health of Leonard's ankle, and the progressions made under the watchful eye of Landow in the weight room.


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