Minor injuries could factor into Purdue depth chart

Leave a comment

While Notre Dame has avoided the major injury this fall camp, that doesn’t mean the Irish aren’t battling an assorted allotment of bumps and bruises. Yesterday, a handful of starters were held out of practice, with Kyle Rudolph, Chris Stewart, Jamoris Slaughter, and Anthony McDonald all missing significant chunks of time, though mostly for precautionary reasons. Key back-up Steve Paskorz, who was working into the rotation at Will linebacker with McDonald’s injury leaving him doubtful for Purdue, also suffered a knee-injury of some sort, during a non-contact situation.

After practice, Brian Kelly updated the media on the assortment of injuries.

On Chris Stewart:

“He’s just sore. His neck is sore. He has his helmet on and the big fellow is moving around. He’ll be fine.”

On Jamoris Slaughter:

“We’re holding back on Jamoris. He has a little bit of a groin and we are just being cautious with him right now. He has done a nice job. We don’t want to be in a position where we are six, seven, eight days out and we pull a hamstring and be out for the first game. That just doesn’t make any sense.”

Kelly also gave some more insight on Paskorz injury, the severity of which has yet to be determined.

“They looked at his knee. He stepped wrong on the field, it was a non-contact situation. They have to go look at it and we won’t know anything until they get in there and get their hands on him.”

Kelly wouldn’t take any bait from the reporters trying to insinuate that the injury was a potentially major one.

“I mean, this is all doom and gloom around here,” Kelly said jokingly. “My goodness, nobody is out. I don’t even know what his situation is. For me to even comment on Steve Paskorz being out, I haven’t even thought of that.”

One thing is for certain, is that the philosophy for Kelly hasn’t changed.

“Next man in,” Kelly said. “Posluszny and Fox have been working a lot in there. We are not going to leave ourselves shorthanded. We are going to have somebody ready to go and we trust the guys that we are going to put on the field.”

While Kelly didn’t touch on the lingering injury to his star tight end, Kyle Rudolph was confident he’ll be ready come next Saturday.

“Our goal is Purdue,” Rudolph said. “Our eyes are on the first game and we’re doing everything we can on a day-to-day basis to get completely read for that day… We don’t want something now, 10 days away from Purdue, that will set me back and that will keep me from playing against Purdue.”

Off all the injuries of note, Rudolph’s might be the one to keep the closest eye on, just because of the tricky nature of hamstrings. That said, if there’s one large question mark on defense, it’s the inside linebacker spot next to Manti Te’o. With both McDonald and Paskorz injured, Carlo Calabrese has become the front-runner for the starting position next Saturday. I’m interested to see if Kelly and defensive coordinator Bob Diaco will work more mobile players like Posluszny and Fox into the mix against a Purdue team that will likely spread it out, and take advantage of the athleticism both reserves bring to the table.

Even with heavy rain in forecast, kickoff stays in primetime

Post & Courier via Twitter
Post & Courier (via Twitter)

With rain falling and the forecast expecting much more, Notre Dame and Clemson are kicking off in primetime anyway.

College GameDay was on campus this morning, showcasing the soggy conditions and the mud-covered campus. And while some wondered whether or not the kickoff would move up to earlier in the day to take advantage of a slight lull in the conditions, kickoff is remaining at 8:22 p.m.

“We’ve been in constant communication with state and local law enforcement and have monitored weather throughout the week and today,” director of athletics Dan Radakovich said in a statement Friday night. “I’ve spoken with campus leaders, State Highway Patrol, and Governor Nikki Haley, and feel confident we can play the game as scheduled. We ask our fans to be conscientious arriving and departing from our campus as we will have some limitations due to this ongoing weather event.”

Ball security will be key this evening, and during an interview with Tom Rinaldi this morning Kelly mentioned the punting and kick game as concerns in these conditions. The Irish came to Clemson prepared for miserable conditions and if the forecast holds, they’ll get just that.

Irish get commitment from 2017 TE Cole Kmet

Cole Kmet

Notre Dame’s tight end recruiting keeps rolling. The Irish received a commitment from Illinois tight end Cole Kmet, who adds a third piece to Notre Dame’s 2017 recruiting class.

Kmet is a 6-foot-4, 230-pounder, joining fellow blue-chipper 2017 tight end Brock Wright in next year’s recruiting class (they won’t sign until February 2017). He had early offers from plenty of the top programs around the country, but picked Notre Dame over finalist Ohio State, a nice recruiting victory for Scott Booker and Brian Kelly.

Kmet talked about the decision with Irish 247 who broke the news:

“I think it was just a gut feeling knowing it was Notre Dame,” Kmet to Irish 247. “I didn’t want to pass on playing for that program and attending that university. It’s always been the school I wanted an offer from and Ohio State made it really close, but I just couldn’t pass on Notre Dame.”