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Rudolph lost for season with lingering hamstring injury

Oct 12, 2010, 12:16 PM EDT

In what was expected to be a pretty low-key press conference, Brian Kelly just dropped a gigantic bomb by announcing that pre-season All-American tight end Kyle Rudolph is out for the season.

“Certainly you lose one of the best tight ends in the country, that’s a loss,” Kelly said.

Rudolph re-injured a hamstring that had been bothering him since preseason camp. After discussing with his family, he decided to undergo surgery to repair his hamstring, which had come off the bone.

After starting all 13 games during his freshman season, Rudolph struggled to stay healthy last season, plagued by a shoulder injury for the last three games of 2009. The injury to Rudolph opens the door for sophomore Tyler Eifert to move into the starting lineup and for senior Mike Ragone to play more extensively.

If there’s a silver lining in all of this, it appears certain that Rudolph will return for his senior season, something many didn’t expect going into the year.

More to come…

  1. Art Vandelay - Oct 12, 2010 at 1:23 PM

    This sucks. There were great expectations for this kid this year. Here’s hoping that surgery is a success and that he’s back to health sooner than expected.

  2. Danno27 - Oct 12, 2010 at 1:35 PM

    Agreed Art, let’s hope he rehabs well and is able to use this year to improve his overall health. And here I was thinking, “at least rest him for W. Michigan.”
    Hopefully Eifert and Ragone can stay healthy and get some experience (Ragone’s a senior though). It’s a big loss, but I know Rudy will be on the sidelines cheering his teammates on.

  3. TersigniND - Oct 12, 2010 at 1:59 PM

    Man what a blow, my favorite player. I knew he looked banged up on Saturday but I didn’t think it would be this bad!!!

  4. Matt - Oct 12, 2010 at 2:04 PM

    Horrible news, but I love the last sentence. Can you imagine a 2011 team with a healthy Rudolph, Eifert with half a year’s experience, and a redshirted Welch? BK will have to incorporate some 2 (and maybe 3) TE sets into the spread. Get well soon Rudolph, see you in 2011.

  5. techd26 - Oct 12, 2010 at 2:07 PM

    get better kyle ….. next season if he is back for sure mackie award lock and one year under the new system will make show .

  6. CJW - Oct 12, 2010 at 2:18 PM

    Thankfully Ridick is stepping up just in time to give us someone dynamic in the middle of the field. This is a real blow but he looked so slow on the wheel route saturday it doesn’t suprise me something bad was wrong.
    I would say we are going to see a lot more of Floyd in the comming weeks and hopefully the backups will catch the damned ball better now that they don’t have Rudolph to rely on.
    Also good thing we don’t play a top team again until Utah. This will give us time to see how the backups develop and tweek the offensive plan accordingly.

  7. borromini - Oct 12, 2010 at 2:21 PM

    Bummer…okay…next man in! GO IRISH!

  8. papadec1 - Oct 12, 2010 at 3:04 PM

    I hope this news put an end to those comments regarding ND players not playing hard. Here’s a guy with tremendous heart – playing hurt, through pain. GOD speed for a successful surgery & recovery Kyle.

  9. John - Oct 12, 2010 at 5:09 PM

    I completely disagree that there is a silver lining that he comes back for next year. His stock could not have been higher, and this will exempt him from all combine work and subsequent scrutiny of his numbers (i.e. slower than we thought). He will go pro and get drafted based on his potential and previous on-field performance. BK doesn’t care to use a TE very much and coming back can only hurt him (another injury will label him “injury prone,” etc.).

  10. rocket89 - Oct 12, 2010 at 7:43 PM

    Odds are he comes back.
    A. His stock most definitely could have been higher. Maybe it was due to the lingering injury from spring, but Rudolph’s stock definitely tumbled a little this fall.
    B. He’ll probably still be rehabbing when the NFL combine comes around.
    C. Kelly does use the tight end a lot, haven’t you been watching? Rudolph rarely came off the field.

  11. The Gipper - Oct 12, 2010 at 11:45 PM

    John no offense but you have to be a complete idiot to say kelly doesnt use his TE’s. This is the most the TE’s at Notre Dame have been used in a long while. Probably since Fasano. Thats where Weis really screwed up bc he didnt use Rudolph as much as he should have.. Bottom line is Kyle Rudolph is a great athlete and is my favorite player on that team. He plays with alot of heart and fight exactly the way Notre Dame Football should be played. He will be sadly missed by all and I wish him sincerely a speedy and healthy recovery. The Irish backups will just have to step up big time, but thats ok bc thats why we are the FIGHTIN IRISH!!!! Looking forward to seeing Kyle back next year…And John for the record this kid is the best TE in the country his stock will be just fine going into the NFL!! I have alot of confidence in kyle and coach kelly.. Lastly the NFL is not whats important right now….ITS NOTRE DAME!!!!!!

  12. jan - Oct 13, 2010 at 12:17 AM

    This news is a harsh reminder of how much these young men devote to the team and to this sport. I often forget that these are real people and not just players executing a gameplan. I pray that Kyle gets the very best advice, treatment, and recovery possible….not just for the Irish team but for him personally. As papadec1 says above, these young men “play” with heart and physical and mental toughness.

  13. Irish Fan - Oct 13, 2010 at 10:15 AM

    Wow…Rudolph out for the whole year.
    That’s a real bummer.
    It’s obviously God’s payback for all the pedophile priests and the Church’s ensuing coverup.
    Oh well…guess we have to take our licks. We earned ’em.
    Go Irish!!

  14. nd422 - Oct 13, 2010 at 1:33 PM

    Hey Irish Fan, what is up with you? I don’t read on here all that often, but I have lately. I’m sure you are not an Irish fan, but a hater in disguise. Because a real ND fan wouldn’t make such ridiculous remarks. And if I am wrong and you are an ND football fan, then you are a f’n idiot.

  15. dan - Oct 13, 2010 at 2:44 PM

    Response to Irish Fan…
    I hope your comment was simply out of frustration and not true emotion. I don’t want to believe that you think our GOD, who is truly loving, merciful and compassionate, would want this to happen to anyone. I feel I can speak for the Irish Nation in saying, “Kyle we wish you the best and may GOD be with you during surgery, recovery and everyday thereafter”.

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