Notre Dame starting quarterback Everett Golson was knocked out of yesterday’s game with just under four minutes remaning after sustaining a hit to the helmet that generated an unnecessary roughness penalty. The hit ended up keeping Golson out of the game for the rest of regulation and overtime and on Sunday Brian Kelly revealed that the sophomore sustained a concussion as a result, but was probably for Notre Dame’s next game against BYU.
“He had a concussion, so he’s going through the steps, the protocol that we have,” Kelly told the media on Sunday. ”He was still a bit symptomatic today, so he’ll go through his cognitive testing tomorrow, and we expect that if all things move in this direction that he should be cleared by Tuesday.”
Should Golson not pass the cognitive tests and be cleared for practice on Tuesday, Notre Dame would begin preparing with Tommy Rees and Andrew Hendrix as their options at quarterback. ”If he’s not able to go or is not cleared, then Tommy and Andrew Hendrix would be our quarterback situation. But talking to Dr.Moriarty, who’s one of the lead guys in concussions, he felt pretty confident that he’d be cleared by Tuesday.”
Tommy Rees relieved Golson and marched the Irish down the field for the game tying field goal after Golson was knocked out of the game. Rees then guided the Irish into the end-zone in overtime for what turned out to be the game winning score.
Prior to being forced to the sidelines, Golson had an up and down game on Saturday. Golson struggled passing the ball at times completing just 12of 24 passes for 141 yards and struggled even more to hold onto the football with three lost fumbles – one of which was recovered in the end-zone for Stanford’s lone touchdown on the day. He did, however, lead the Irish on the touchdown drive earlier in the fourth quarter and had the Irish near mid-field before getting knocked out.
Rees though was as good as could have been expected in relief. The former starter completed all four of his pass attempts for 43 yards and a touchdown. Rees appearance was the fourth time he’s come off the bench to replace Golson although two of his appearances were due to Golson’s ineffectiveness rather than any injury.
Should Golson be unable to go this weekend, Notre Dame should be fine with Rees under center. When Notre Dame travels to Norman in two weeks though, it would certainly aid the offense to have a quarterback with Golson’s mobility given the speed of the Oklahoma defense. For that reason, having Golson ready this week to get some more experience is extremely important. That said, it is very hard to argue with the results Rees has generated this year even if we have been down that road before.