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Eric Dungey on season-ending injury: ‘I knew I could've played’

Syracuse was 4-4 when Dungey went down.

NCAA Football: Virginia Tech at Syracuse Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

In his first interview since he suffered a season-ending injury in early November, Syracuse Orange football quarterback Eric Dungey told reporter Nate Mink he was frustrated by SU’s medical staff’s decision to shut him down for the season, and disagreed with their assessment.

“The medical staff is always looking out for the long-term health and all that,” Dungey told Mink. “They do a great job with that. I felt like – actually I knew – I was good to play. It was just frustrating sitting on the bench and being at practice but not being able to do anything. That's all I can say.”

Dungey missed Syracuse’s final three games after suffering a hard hit to the head-and-neck area in the first quarter of SU’s 54-0 loss to Clemson on Nov. 5. Syracuse coach Dino Babers repeatedly declined to reveal any specifics regarding Dungey’s injury, which included at least two sets of testing, and the Orange lost its final four games of the season to finish 4-8.

Dungey’s status remained a mystery for more than two months until his father told in mid-January Dungey would be able to participate in spring practice. Dungey’s father Tim also said he disagreed with the team’s medical staff’s ruling, saying Eric could have returned to action and help lead Syracuse to a possible bowl game.

NCAA Football: Syracuse at Clemson Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports

“After examination by a qualified expert, whose opinion was there was no reason Eric could not play, made it frustrating for Eric not playing last year as he wanted to make contributions on the field,” Tim Dungey said at the time.

In nine games last season (including just one quarter of action against Clemson), Dungey threw for 2,679 yards, 15 touchdowns and just seven interceptions. He also ran for 293 yards and six more scores.

Syracuse never revealed the specifics behind the decision to sit Dungey, who previously suffered two concussions during his freshman season. When pressed on the issue by Mink, Dungey also declined to reveal the explanation he was provided by the medical staff.

Despite having missed eight games due to injury over the course of the past two seasons, Dungey said he won’t change his style of play and, once he steps onto the field, his injury-riddled history will be the furthest thing from his mind.

“It hasn't really changed my viewpoint at all,” Dungey said. “I still go out there, and you can't just be thinking, 'Oh, I can't get injured.' No one has that mindset and can do well and succeed. I'm just going out there and do my job. I don't try to think about anything off the field when I'm on the field.”