Steve Filer’s Notre Dame career has come to a disappointing end. Brian Kelly confirmed on Thursday that Filer suffered an ACL injury in a non-contact drill that will cause the senior outside linebacker to miss the remainder of the season and thus ending a career that never quite got off the ground.
“Steve got injured yesterday in practice and we’re probably going to lose him for the year,” Brian Kelly said on Thursday. “It’s tough losing a senior, especially when it’s a non-contact situation when you lose a guy that’s not going to play for Notre Dame anymore,” he would add.
After coming to Notre Dame has a highly touted linebacker out of Chicago, Filer struggled to crack the defensive lineup over the last four years despite flashing raw athleticism that made him a yearly candidate for breakout player of the year lists each summer. Filer did, however, make his impact on special teams where he led the Irish in special teams tackles each of the last two seasons.
Much like Mike Ragone earlier this season, it’s disappointing to see an athlete like Filer have his career end without ever reaching his full potential at Notre Dame. Filer had been seeing more playing time on pass rushing downs over the last few weeks, but for the season he had just five tackles and no sacks. Filer was one of the leaders in the locker room though and his presence will be missed.
To give you an idea of how liked Filer is in the locker room, fellow Chicago native Darius Fleming will be wearing Filer’s #46 this weekend when Notre Dame takes on Maryland in FedEx Field. Filer and Fleming came to Notre Dame in the same class after playing for rival high schools in Chicago and became good friends over the last four years. The two even had similar numbers with Fleming wear #45 and filer 46 over the course of their careers.
It’s terrible to see a player like Filer have his career end so close to the end of his senior season without having the opportunity to play on senior day next weekend. At the same time, it’s great to see Fleming honoring his teammate and friend by wearing his number this weekend as it shows the closeness of this team.
Notre Dame will be getting Ethan Johnson back this weekend so they should be able to replace Filer’s absence at defensive end on pass rushing downs by rotating defensive ends a little more and letting Johnson play more of the run downs and letting Aaron Lynch focus more on passing downs.