Notre Dame could not get through its first week of practices without losing a front-line player to injury. Irish junior tight end Cole Kmet broke his collarbone in Thursday’s practice, per reports, and will miss at least a few weeks of practice and perhaps as much as the season’s first three games.
Irish Illustrated first reported the break and a 3-to-6 week timetable for Kmet’s recovery. Three weeks from today would have Kmet cleared four days before Notre Dame’s opener at Louisville on Labor Day. Six weeks falls two days before the Irish take on Georgia between the hedges.
This was expected to be a breakout year from Kmet, a long-heralded prospect now finally in the top tight end role. As the No. 2 tight end last year, he finished with 15 catches for 162 yards.
In this space’s “Counting Down the Irish” series, Kmet was expected to be the No. 10 most-impactful player for Notre Dame this season, and that may have been a ranking diminished by sub-par play from his predecessors.
Irish head coach Brian Kelly is next available to the media Saturday, so expect confirmation then.
Notre Dame will now turn to junior Brock Wright and sophomores Tommy Tremble and George Takacs. Wright has the most experience, albeit largely in an H-back role. Tremble has shown flashes of becoming a dynamic play-maker, particularly in the spring.