Notre Dame’s untested secondary just suffered a major blow this afternoon when Lo Wood, the presumed starter across from Bennett Jackson, suffered a major Achilles tendon injury and will likely be lost for the season.
Wood was lauded by Brian Kelly last week for the great work he’s done during this preseason camp and was going to be counted on to play significant minutes in a secondary that needed to replace three out of four starters.
Injuries have already hurt the secondary, with key contributor Austin Collinsworth likely lost for the majority of the season with a labrum tear. Now Wood, who saw playing time last season and reported to camp bigger, stronger, and faster, will likely miss the season as well.
The injury likely pushes Josh Atkinson into the starting field corner job, a move that many Irish fans assumed would happen during the offseason. Yet Wood had held off Atkinson for much of camp, one of the top surprises of the offseason.
Depth at cornerback is thin and untested for the Irish defense. While Jackson is expected to play well, he’ll be starting his first game during the opener. Atkinson saw playing time last season mostly on special teams. Sophomore Jalen Brown is untested and sat out last season. Cam McDaniel spent the spring transitioning from offense to cornerback to fill in the depth chart and took snaps as a running back just last week. True freshmen KeiVarae Russell and Elijah Shumate both moved to corner during preseason camp, learning on the fly.
Wood will likely redshirt this season, having two seasons of eligibility remaining. Brian Kelly meets with the media tomorrow at noon, where we’ll find out more.