Jarron Jones Injury Update: Out for 2015 Notre Dame Season

Jarron Jones Injury
Photo: Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire

Notre Dame has suffered its first major loss of the 2015 season just a week into training camp with Brian Kelly confirming what multiple reports stated last night that senior nose tackle Jarron Jones has suffered a serious knee injury that will sideline him for the 2015 Notre Dame football season.

Losing Jones for the year would be a crushing blow to Notre Dame’s playoff chances.  The defensive line is the one area of the defense where they could least afford to lose a starter – especially one at a position as pivotal as nose tackle.   Jones was starting to become a dominant force in the middle of the Irish defense a year ago before suffering a season ending injury a year ago and missing the final two games of the season.

Early enrollee Jerry Tillery rapidly ascended the depth chart in the spring and moved into a backup position behind Jones and could very well move into the starting lineup now.  Relying on a true freshman at a position like nose tackle, however, is not usually a recipe for a playoff run.   Kelly stated on Saturday that Tillery and sophomore Daniel Cage will be the next men in at nose tackle with Jones lost for the year.

Another possibility for Notre Dame would be moving Isaac Rochell inside in certain situations to ease the load on the youngsters.  Rochell played inside during Notre Dame’s Music City Bowl victory over LSU after injuries ravaged the Irish defensive line in 2014.  Kelly said on Saturday that moving Rochell inside permanently with the base defense was not an option but left open the possibility of him playing inside in certain situations.

With Jones lost for the year, the status of Ishaq Williams becomes even more intriguing for Notre Dame.  If Williams were to be available for Notre Dame this fall, it would give the Irish more options at defensive end allowing more flexibility for moving Rochell around.  On Saturday, Kelly said that there was no update on Williams on Keivarae Russell with regards to their eligibility status.

A year ago injuries along the defensive line were one of the root causes for Notre Dame’s defensive meltdown in the second half of the season and it appears as though the Notre Dame’s luck this year isn’t starting off any better than it ended in 2014.  Jones was primed for a huge senior season and could have provided the disruptive force in the middle of the defense to open up lanes to the quarterback for a team that is lacking elite pass rushers.

While a huge loss for the Irish, losing Jones for the season doesn’t completely derail Notre Dame’s playoff hopes.  Remember, in 2012 Notre Dame’s secondary looked paper thin in August and unable to sustain any losses.  Then Notre Dame lost Jamoris Slaughter and Lo Wood for the season and a true freshman who converted from wide receiver stepped in an started every game at cornerback and that worked out well.

Granted, it’s much easier for a freshman to start at corner because it’s not as physically demanding as nose tackle, but baring any other major injuries up front, Notre Dame could still sustain this loss and still make a run towards the playoffs.

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  1. Mike T, my only quibble is that this is not “one” of the deepest Irish teams Kelly has had, but rather,
    FAR AND AWAY THE DEEPEST Irish team Kelly has had.

  2. I think this is one of the deepest Irish teams Kelly has had, losing Golson(no big deal). Losing Jones hurts but still there are some players to step in and take up the slack. Losing Bryant isn’t as bad now that CJ is showing his ability at the RB position. The freshmen will get some playing time too. Everyone just chill out, no time to panic yet.

  3. This one hurts. That’s why you can never have enough good D-Linemen. Hopefully those that got extended playing time last year due to injuries can step up this year.

  4. This is where lack of recruiting on the D Line is coming back to hurt us. Kelly has bodies he can throw in there but losing Jones stings. Hopefully Cage and Tillery can step up because they will be needed! Those two are going to get a ton of playing time this year.

  5. No injury to a key potential contributor is not meaningful. Yet losing a QB, a RB, and a now a DL before the opening kickoff are three areas ND could seemingly least afford to absorb; and lest we forget, K. Russell has not yet been cleared, even though he is practicing with the team.
    What could go wrong at ND?
    Stay tuned.
    A friend has reminded me often that Brian Kelly is one unlucky fellow, (be it Collinsworth’s last spring practice injury, Crist’s fumble returned 97 yards for a TD, and the unprecedented rash of D’ injuries to so many key players last season, etc., etc.). Add to that the ongoing suspensions, departures, and injuries, although not on him, add heat BK will face in the coming season. How many teams have lost three of their potentially best pass rushers during one off season when that was the team’s greatest deficiency? Even three season losses in 2015 will stir the faithful into a dump Kelly frenzy. I’m not a BK groupie, but looking at the 2015 schedule, BK and the team can ill afford any other key losses in personnel before the season even starts. “Next man in” is an admirable goal, and depth seems to be in effect, but reality suggests the next man in wasn’t in because he wasn’t as good as the “last man now out.” But hope springs eternal, at least until the boisterous rabble experience the first ND loss. Then the blame game begins, be it directed at Kelly, Malik, Redfield, Van Gorder or who knows who’s the next scapegoat.
    Hang on- the ride’s about to begin again.

  6. Season hasn’t started yet and ND has already lost 3 KEY PLAYERS IN Golson, Bryant, and Jones. Maybe #4 in Ishaq Williams if he is denied.

  7. Ron Burgundy, I trust your remark was made in jest… I remember clearly when Nick Eddy fell and hurt his arm on the ice while getting off the train just before the ’66 Michigan State game that decided the nat’l championship and never played a down. Oh, and Hanratty got knocked out in the first quarter and came out of the game for its entirety. Lots and lots of injuries for both coaches. You were making a joke, right?

  8. Some bad luck for this kid. It’s two injuries in less than a year. This is one reason Players that come to ND need to take their education seriously. That football career can vanish in one instant. If you can’t play professional sports that degree from a prestigious University will open doors and help give you a chance to succeed in life.

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