Projected starter Jay Hayes has a sprained ankle. The injury was spotted by multiple media reports from Wednesday’s open practice, setting off a few alarms via social media. But Brian Kelly downplayed the severity of the injury and is confident that Hayes will be back and ready for Texas, a key piece of the puzzle for the Irish at weakside defensive end.
“He’s a grade one, high ankle sprain. But not a severe one,” Kelly said after practice. “Been in the boot now, I think this is his third day, fourth day. That’s generally seven-to-ten days, but we’ll take it each day.
“We’ll feel good that we’ll have him ready for the Texas game.”
In his place, fellow junior Andrew Trumbetti took first team reps. Talented freshman Daelin Hayes is expected to spell both, especially in pass rush situations. The former five-star recruit, who spent the spring semester enrolled at Notre Dame but recovering from an injury, has been a pleasant surprise this spring.
If (the elder) Hayes is unable to play against the Longhorns, Trumbetti is a capable replacement. He’s played in 12 games each of the last two seasons, making three starts last year. He’s a lesser run defender than Hayes (who started his career as an interior defensive lineman), but is expected to do more as a pass rusher.