Duke tight end Braxton Deaver reportedly has suffered a torn ACL and will miss the season, the second key Blue Devils starter to be lost with an ACL injury in a week.
In an unfortunate bit of irony for Duke, Deaver also missed the 2012 season with a torn ACL -- just like Brown. As with Brown, Deaver can petition the NCAA for a sixth season of eligibility.
Deaver (6-foot-5, 240 pounds) had 46 receptions last season, for 600 yards and four TDs. Deaver has good hands and the speed to occasionally get deep. He had been held out of the first week of practice by coach David Cutcliffe as a disciplinary measure, and upon his return last week, he was held out of pads for two or three days to get re-acclimated.
Deaver generally was considered the ACC's second-best tight end this season, behind Florida State's Nick O'Leary. His loss creates a big hole in Duke's passing attack. While Jamison Crowder is a proven go-to receiver, there is no clear-cut No. 2 receiver, and Deaver likely would've served in that role.
Junior David Reeves (6-5, 255) seems likely to be the starting tight end now; he started all 13 games as a redshirt freshman in 2012 in place of Deaver. Reeves had 18 receptions in 2012 but just three last season.
Mike Huguenin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. You also can follow him on Twitter @MikeHuguenin.