Aug 12, 2013, 1:16 AM EDT
A crowded race for playing time at the safety position might be light one of leading contenders for the job. Sophomore safety Nicky Baratti could be done for the season, reportedly reinjuring a shoulder injury that required offseason surgery. A year after playing in all 13 games last season, multiple reports, first uncovered by IrishIllustrated.com, have Baratti’s season finished before even getting started.
Notre Dame hasn’t officially commented on the injury, with the team taking the weekend off. But Irish Illustrated cites a Facebook post from Baratti’s father Clarke, who revealed his son would be out for the ’13 season.
If the injury does keep the Texas native off the field for the season, it’ll allow Baratti to save a year of eligibility. After multiple seasons of limited depth at safety, Baratti’s injury is at a position where there’s actual depth to spare — with the race to play next to incumbent starter Mattias Farley featuring frontrunners like Elijah Shumate, Austin Collinsworth, Max Redfield and Eilar Hardy.
A converted high school quarterback, Baratti quickly worked his way into the rotation in the secondary as a freshman, coming up with a critical interception against Michigan last season while contributing on special teams as well.
Brian Kelly will likely update us on Baratti’s status tomorrow after practice, but those searching for clues could look to the sophomore’s Twitter account, where he recently posted, “Everything happens for a reason.”
MONDAY UPDATE — Head coach Brian Kelly confirmed after practice that Baratti dislocated his shoulder during practice and will have season ending surgery.