FORT WORTH, Texas — TCU starting quarterback Max Duggan could miss at least the start of the season because of a previously undetected, life-long health issue that was revealed during preseason testing and has kept him out of practice.
Coach Gary Patterson wouldn’t reveal specifics about the issue, but said the sophomore quarterback was born with it. The undisclosed condition was discovered at a time when TCU has ramped up testing protocols amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“Because of all the things we had in place, Max has a condition that he’s had his whole life, and we caught it,” Patterson said Thursday night. “Right now he’s in a good place and hopefully he’ll be getting back some time during the season. … I’m just glad we found it; I can say that.”
Duggan started TCU’s final 10 games last season and played in all 12. He threw for 2,077 yards with 15 touchdowns and 10 interceptions, while rushing for 555 yards and six more scores.
With Duggan out, sophomore Matthew Downing could start the season opener Sept. 12 against SMU. Downing completed 8 of 10 passes for 88 yards in four games for a Georgia as a freshman in 2018 before transferring to TCU, where he didn’t play as a redshirt last season.
The Horned Frogs also have two other scholarship quarterbacks. Stephon Brown is a dual-threat transfer from Independence Community College, and freshman Eli Williams played only five games in his final high school season before a knee injury.