Duke quarterback Thomas Sirk thought his college football career had ended when he re-injured his left Achilles tendon during preseason practice. Monday, the redshirt senior was granted a sixth year of eligibility by the NCAA — a ruling that will allow him to return to the Blue Devils for the 2017 season. “I’m so grateful to have a sixth year to continue my dream of playing college football and academically, work towards another degree from Duke University,” Sirk said in a statement. Sirk threw for 2,625 yards and 16 touchdowns while leading the team in rushing in his only season as a starter in 2015. He led the Blue Devils to the Pinstripe Bowl, where he won co-MVP honors by amassing 318 total yards in a 44-41 overtime victory against Indiana. The 6-foot-4 Florida native was originally injured during offseason conditioning on Feb. 9. After undergoing surgery to repair a ruptured Achilles, he spent the next six months rehabbing and was cleared to return to practice shortly after the start of fall camp. Sirk was named a captain for the 2016 season, but suffered a season-ending setback when he partially tore the Achilles on August 25. Duke is currently 4-7 (1-6 ACC) with freshman Matt Jones at quarterback heading into Saturday’s regular season finale at Miami.
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