Notre Dame, Ind (UHND.com) – A number of players were in Charlie Weis’s injury report at his preseason press conference Sunday morning. Included in the list were offensive lineman Ryan Harris, wide receivers DJ Hord and Chase Anastacio, linebacker Abdel Banda, and running back James Aldridge. Also mentioned by Weis were Chris Frome, Joe Brockington, Maurice Crum, and Rhema McKnight who are returning from injuries from a year ago.
Rumors had circulated around the internet over the last month that DJ Hord had torn his ACL in a non football incident and those rumors were confirmed Sunday by Weis. “D.J. Hord tore his left Achilles in the weight room. He jumped off a box, his left Achilles snapped and he had surgery on it on July 6 and he’ll be gone for the year,” explained Weis on Hord’s injury.
The loss of Hord is a huge blow for an Irish offense looking to find a 3rd receiver. Hord very likely could filled that void had he not gotten injured. Said Weis of Hord’s position on the depth chart, “Well, he tore that Achilles, and it was really disheartening because we had him moving up the depth chart and looked like he would end the season as a possible at least No. 2 walking in.”
Also injured at the wide receiver position is Chase Anasatcio. Anasatcio should only be sidelined for a week or so however. Chase will be challenging for playing time this year with only two established receivers on the Irish roster. In the mean time, Anastacio will be able run conditioning tests, but will be held out of contact drills for a week or two.
Freshman James Aldridge is another player who had injury rumors floating around the net this summer. Weis addressed his injury status stating that, “As a matter of fact when we go out practicing, you’ll see him run around, he’ll look great to you. I don’t feel that he’s ready to go right now and to be honest with you, I’m not positive if he’s going to be ready to go when we start the season. It’s not a season ending deal, but I’m not positive he’ll be ready for Georgia Tech.”
Ryan Harris is rehabbing and will be out for a couple weeks, but will be ready to go for the season opener. Weis suggested he could bring him back sooner, but since Harris is as experienced as he is, he is going to play it safe.
The only other significant injury was to Andel Banda. Banda has had an injury plagued career and Weis announced that Banda was placed on medical reserve and his Notre Dame football career is over. It’s a shame Banda never really had a chance to show what he could do because of injuries because he was so green coming into Notre Dame.
On a positive note, both Chris Frome and Rhema McKnight are both back and at full strength. Frome started the first six games of 2005 before injuring his knee against USC and looked like he had some promise. Frome will be back and should start opposite Victor Abiamiri at defensive end for the Irish this year.
At the linebacker position, Maurice Crum and Joe Brockington both missed Spring practice, but both are back and ready to practice with the team. Crum, as Weis noted, will start off at the middle linebacker spot while Brockington will battle for the WILL position with Travis Thomas. Getting Crum back healthy is huge for the defense especially if Weis want the junior to start at middle linebacker.
Lastly, Rhema McKnight is back at full strength and looking as strong as ever. We’ll have a full article on McKnight later so for now all I will say is that Weis had very positive comments on McKnight’s status which is great news.