Notre Dame will head into the season finale without cornerback KeiVarae Russell. The senior was hurt late in the victory over Boston College, with the postgame diagnosis from Brian Kelly calling the injury a stress fracture.
Upon further inspection, the injury is more severe. Russell had a cast put on his foot last night before traveling back from Boston and will undergo surgery today for a broken tibia, with a rod inserted to help with stability.
The tentative timeline for recovery is six to eight weeks, meaning quite a lot would have to go perfectly for Russell to even have a chance at returning for a playoff or postseason game. In all likelihood, this is a season-ending injury to Russell, who finishes the year tied for second on the defense with 60 tackles, tied for the lead with two interceptions and the team-leader with two forced fumbles.
Russell was expected to declare for the NFL Draft, a senior who’ll graduate this spring. But he’s got another year of eligibility remaining and rehabbing a foot injury won’t be the best way to go into Combine season. Add to that some game tape that’s below the standard set for him, and there are some very persuasive reasons why Russell could be back in South Bend in 2016.