Utah linebacker Levani Damuni suffered a lower leg injury that will likely keep him off the field for the majority, if not all, of the 2024 season.

After Tuesday’s practice, Utah coach Kyle Whittingham shared an update on the team’s health, noting that Damuni’s injury is the only one to date that will “impact” the 2024 season for the Utes.

“We’ve had some guys that have missed chunks of practice here and there and a couple surgeries. Nothing that we hope is going to impact the fall, with one exception. Levani Damuni had a (lower leg injury) so that’s something that is going to be impactful,” Whittingham said.

In his first year in Salt Lake City last season, the transfer linebacker from Stanford played 547 snaps for the Utes, taking on an increased role after Lander Barton’s season-ending injury in October.

Damuni, who graduated from Ridgeline High, started the final six games and finished the season as Utah’s leading tackler (87 tackles) with 2.5 tackles for loss and 0.5 sacks.

Heading into 2024, linebacker still looks like a position of strength even with Damuni likely to miss significant time during Utah’s inaugural Big 12 season.

Starters Barton, a junior, and Karene Reid, a senior, are back this year, both coming off of great individual seasons.

Barton’s game improved significantly from his freshman to sophomore season — he had 34 tackles, two interceptions (including a pick-six), two pass breakups and a forced fumble in just seven games before sustaining the season-ending injury.

Reid was a rock-solid presence for the Utes all year, with 67 tackles, an interception and four pass breakups (third-most on the team).

Behind Barton and Reid are sophomore Sione Fotu, who played 110 snaps on defense last year, the vast majority at linebacker, with 18 tackles and a pass breakup, and senior Josh Calvert, who played 28 snaps with three tackles.

Newcomers who have caught linebacker coach Colton Swan’s eye are three-star freshmen Hunter Andrews and Kana’i Lopes, along with returned missionaries Moroni Anae — who played in three games on defense in 2020 before leaving for his mission and Trey Reynolds, who played seven snaps in 2021 before departing on a mission.