Duke's Connette takes leave from team

Dec. 14, 2013 @ 07:31 PM

Duke reserve quarterback Brandon Connette will not be on the practice field Sunday when the No. 22 Blue Devils being preparation for their Dec. 31 Chick-fil-A Bowl game with No. 20 Texas A&M.

Connette has returned to California to be with his ailing mother, Nancy Connette. On Thursday, Connette said via his Twitter feed that his mother was being rushed into emergency surgery to remove a brain tumor.

Duke sports information director Art Chase said Saturday that Connette has been excused from practice and that there is no timetable for his return.

A redshirt junior from Corona, Calif., Connette has shared quarterback duties this season with Anthony Boone as the Blue Devils (10-3) established a program record for most wins in a season. Connette has played in 12 games for Duke, starting three games while Boone recovered from a broken right collarbone. Connette leads Duke with 13 rushing touchdowns while also throwing a team-best 13 touchdown passes.

Duke’s players have not practiced since losing the ACC championship game 45-7 to No. 1 Florida State on Dec. 7 in Charlotte. Duke holds its first bowl practice today.