It is "highly doubtful" that Syracuse starting quarterback AJ Long will play for the Orange against Duke on Saturday, Scott Shafer told reporters on Thursday.

According to Shafer, Long injured his throwing arm in the loss to NC State last week but did not release the severity of the injury until Tuesday's practice. What was thought to be tissue damage was then re-diagnosed as nerve damage that could keep Long on the sideline as the Orange fight for bowl eligibility.

Shafer hinted that the nerve damage was caused by a player stepping on Long, according to quotes from the Syracuse Post-Standard.

"I don't know how it happened, but between his neck and his shoulder pads, he's got a footprint," Shafer said. "He's got cleat marks on his back, toward his shoulder on the right side."