Duke suspends Singleton; Barnes has broken hand
Duke will play without suspended starting safety Deondre Singleton this Saturday against Navy while freshman wide receiver Johnell Barnes is not practicing due to a broken hand.
Duke coach David Cutcliffe announced Sunday that Singleton has been suspended for one game because he missed two academic obligations last week. The Blue Devils, who did not have a game on Saturday, practiced Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Cutcliffe said Singleton left campus early without permission.
Singleton has played in four of Duke’s five games this season, missing only the Sept. 7 28-14 win at Memphis when he was injured. The freshman had seven tackles, including five solo stops, in Duke’s 38-31 win over Troy on Sept. 28.
Barnes, who has handled the majority of Duke’s kickoff returns this season, injured his hand in a fight with a Duke lacrosse player at Shooters nightclub just after midnight Sept. 29. Cutcliffe said the altercation occurred “on the dance floor.”
Barnes did not practice last week and Cutcliffe would only say that he is out indefinitely. DeVon Edwards is expected to take over Barnes kick return duties while sophomore running back Shaquille Powell may also play an expanded role in that area.
As for this week’s opponent, Cutcliffe said all indications at this point are that Navy will be traveling to Durham as scheduled for the 12:30 p.m. nonconference game.
The ongoing government shutout has cast doubts about the service academy teams being able to continue their seasons. Other teams at Air Force, Navy and Army have had to suspend play.
But Navy played Air Force as scheduled on Saturday, winning 28-10. Navy athletics director Chet Gladchuck told the Annapolis Capital-Gazette newspaper Saturday night that they should prepare to face Duke.
“We haven’t been told we can’t play; so I’m not going to create a situation that doesn’t exist,” Gladchuk told the paper. “My instincts tell me that the Department of Defense is doing everything possible to ensure the service academies meet their contractual obligations with regard to future football games. I have great confidence that we will be playing Duke in Durham as scheduled.”
Cutcliffe said the Blue Devils have never altered their game preparation.
“We continued to work on Navy,” Cutcliffe said. “We were getting good indications that the game would happen.”