Senior center Dan Wenger’s career is in jeopardy after the Florida native suffered a second concussion in three weeks during practice on Tuesday.
“Dan and I had a long conversation today,” Brian Kelly told the media after practice Thursday. “. He’s had these concussions and it’s really, we’re going to have to make a decision about whether or not we can put him back on the field. We’re really hesitant to do that right now. He had another concussion yesterday so that’s his second concussion in a matter of three weeks.”
Multiple concussions in that short of time period without any game contact is a serious matter and putting Wenger back on the field is something that the medical staff, coaches, and Wenger family will decide on. “That’s a decision that out medical team is looking at right now. Dan’s involved in that decision – Dan’s family. We should be very cautious with anyone who’s had two concussions in a short period of time.
Kelly said that a decision on Wenger’s future would be made in the next few days. “This is one that going to have to be decided off the field and we’ll try to do that in the next couple of days. ”
Wenger is in his final year of eligibility after returning to Notre Dame for a fifth and final season. Should the Notre Dame medical staff determine it isn’t safe to place Wenger back on the field this year, the one time starting center and guard for Notre Dame will see his career come to a sudden and disappointing end. It’s an unfortunate situation for Wenger and one that he and the staff will need to be very cautious with.
Wenger spent most of the 2007 and 2008 seasons as a starter, but lost the starting center battle to Eric Olsen in fall camp a year ago. Heading into the 2010 season, Wenger was battling with junior Braxston Cave for the center spot, but his earlier concussion set him back. His most recent concussion could end up sidelining for at least this season.
In Wenger’s absence, junior Mike Golic Jr and sophomore Chris Watt will see time as Cave’s backup. “He (Golic) would come in and I have a lot of confidence in him. He can go in there and do a solid job. Watt is going to play some center too. Both of those guys have done a good job taking those reps this week,” Kelly said Wednesday.