The first two injuries of the 2013 season are reportedly and unfortunately familiar faces for Notre Dame. According to NBC Sports’ Keith Arnold, junior running back Amir Carlisle and defensive end Chase Hounshell have both suffered significant injuries in the very early stages of spring practice.
According to Arnold’s report, Hounshell has suffered a torn labrum while Carlisle sustained a broken collarbone in the first practice of the year with pads on.
For Hounshell, a torn labrum, is a major setback after he missed the entire 2012 season with another shoulder injury. Hounshell came into camp in great shape and was praised by Kelly for being ready to be a regular contributor this year. Hounshell’s status for the 2013 season though would appear to be a major question mark following this latest setback.
With Hounshell on the shelf, the margin for error at defensive end just got smaller for Notre Dame. The Irish will need Jarron Jones and Sheldon Day to both take big steps forward in their sophomore seasons and will likely need Kona Schwenke to be ready for meaningful minutes again this year.
Like Hounshell, Carlisle also missed the entire 2012 season, although the only silver lining in this entire report is that Carlisle’s injury was reported as a broken collarbone and has nothing to do with the problematic ankle that cost Carlisle his first season in South Bend after transferring from USC.
Still, another major injury is a huge blow for Carlisle’s development that has already been stunted by missing last season and now almost all of spring practice this year. Davaris Daniels suffered a broken collarbone against Boston College last year and was ready for action by the BCS Championship game so this shouldn’t affect Carlisle’s availability for fall camp. Missing almost all of spring almost certainly will impact his bid for carries out of the backfield and reps as a slot receiver in this year’s offense.
Carlisle was singled out as being in great shape coming into camp as well and some positive buzz had just started around the USC-transfer before this latest injury. With Carlisle unavailable, sophomore Will Mahone and junior Cam McDaniel will see more work out of the backfield as they challenge George Atkinson fot he vacated starting running position.
Carlisle’s absence also means that Davonte Neal will likely have an opportunity to seize hold of the slot receiver position this spring. Notre Dame will also be looking for some more options to challenge Neal as the punt returner as well since Carlisle was expected to make a push for punt return duties.
Brian Kelly has yet to publicly confirm either player’s injury, but he hasn’t met with the media since either player reportedly suffered their injuries. He is not scheduled to speak publicly again until next week either with the Easter holiday coming up this weekend so there likely won’t be any official word until then.
This was certainly not the way anyone would have liked to start off the spring, but thankfully Kelly and has staff have been able to develop some depth across the roster to be able to sustain such injuries – something Kelly spoke about in detail during his first press conference of the spring.