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TCU's Duggan cleared to return to practice

TCU's Duggan cleared to return to practice

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Only five days before its season opener against Iowa State, TCU received some positive news.

Max Duggan, the former Lewis Central standout quarterback, has been cleared to practice and is now available to play Saturday against ISU for what will be his sophomore season.

TCU coach Gary Patterson made the announcement Monday during a Big 12 football coaches teleconference.

Duggan’s availability doesn’t assure he’ll start, as sophomore Matthew Downing has been getting most of the first-team reps in Duggan’s absence, and junior Stephon Brown has also been in the mix.

“Max has been back for almost two weeks,” Patterson told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. “Downing is here ... Stephon ... we have all three.”

“I don’t know who’s going to start,” Patterson continued. “Downing has been the guy since we’ve gone. He’s slung the ball really well. Right now, we have three quarterbacks. All of them have a part of the package in the game plan and we’ll go forward with it.”

In August, Duggan’s availability for the 2020 season came into question when a heart abnormality was discovered during an electrocardiogram. The condition has since been treated.

Lewis Central coach Justin Kammrad speaks to Duggan weekly and knew his former quarterback would do all in his power to get back on the field in a timely manner.

“I know it’s been a process,” Kammrad said. “It’s been mentally and physically challenging to get back into football shape. We knew that Max was going to approach it and push it as much as he could and follow the guidelines to get himself back to where they felt comfortable that he would be participating.”

Kammrad also acknowledged that Duggan’s work is just beginning to get back in proper shape for the season.

Duggan played in all 12 games for the Horned Frogs during his true freshman season in 2019, making 10 starts. He set TCU true freshman records with 2,077 yards and 15 touchdown passes. He was also second on the team with 555 rushing yards and six scores. TCU finished the year with a 5-7 record.

“He’s been out, and other quarterbacks have been taking reps,” Kammrad said. “It’s just a matter of him getting back into football shape. He hasn’t even thrown until he started getting back into this, so it’s going to take him a little while. He understands that. You don’t just walk in and take spots. I know he’s going to work his tail off to get himself back in to playing shape. He’s more than thrilled to have the opportunity to put the pads back on and be on the sideline on game day.”

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