CJ Prosise on Track to Return for Fiesta Bowl

CJ Prosise - Notre Dame RB
Photo: Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire

It sounds very promising that Notre Dame will have another player returning from injury in next week’s Fiesta Bowl showdown with Ohio State in the form of 1,000 yard rusher CJ Prosise.  Prosise, Notre Dame’s leading rusher, left the Boston College game with an ankle injury and hasn’t played since.  On Wednesday, though, Brian Kelly said he expects to have Prosise against the Buckeyes.

Kelly told the media on Wednesday that Prosise has returned to non-contact practice but has still been held out of contact drills as Notre Dame wrapped up its final bowl practices on campus yesterday.  He also said, however, that once the Irish arrive in Tempe, that he expected Prosise to be able to resume contact drills.

Brian Kelly isn’t usually very forthcoming with injury information – and rightfully so since he isn’t obligated to be like on the NFL level – so yesterday’s update is probably the closest we’ll get to knowing about Prosise’s status for the Fiesta Bowl without actually seeing #20 suited up with his helmet on.

Should Prosise return, the Notre Dame ground game that hardly missed a beat without him against Stanford, would get the added dimension of Prosise’s homerun ability and his skills as a receiver out of the backfield.  While Josh Adams has been a stalwart as the next man in at running back, he hasn’t developed the receiving aspect of his game just yet – at least not to the level of Prosise who spent the last two seasons playing wide receiver.

Even with Prosise back, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Adams get the starting nodding next week given how has played with Prosise used as more of a change of pace and maybe even in a formation with Adams at the same time.  Given Prosise’s ability as a receiver, Brian Kelly and Mike Sanford surely could cook up some advantageous matchups with Prosise in the passing game with both he and Adams in the backfield at the same time.

It appears as though Notre Dame is getting the healthiest it’s been all season at just the right time.  While the Irish will still be without Malik Zaire, Drue Tranquil, Keivarae Russell (likely), and Taren Folston; Notre Dame will benefit from the return of Jarron Jones, Durham Smythe, Prosise, and James Onwaulu as it looks now.  That’s four projected starters who missed a total of 28 starts in 2015 back on the field for the Fighting Irish.

How all of the returning players are worked into action remains to be seen, but even having all four back in limited roles should benefit the Irish both in terms of their preparation for the bowl game and in the performance in it.

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  1. Sure remember that game and hype (Golics’ hit). Texas was supposed to roll. ND was so physical really bringing the leather. I liked Campbell but he was shut down. ND controlled the game. Texas may have had QB lost too. Golic played the nose also. Fast and mean. Strong “D”. Great O line. Team pride, attitude and belief. Truely believe this program is knocking at the door. Addressing a few areas, makes them whole solid team. Well balanced positional depth. Good times ahead. Thanks.

  2. First of all , Merry Christmas to all UHND authors and posters. The Fiesta Bowl between Notre Dame Fighting Irish and The Ohio State Buckeyes is the marquee match up of all bowl games and that includes the Final Four bowl games. No other match up boast the talent on O or D combined like ND/Ohio State in this one game. What’s on the line here and at stake is the future of both programs going into 2016. Both teams came up short by narrowest of margins being in Final Four 2015. Both teams will be out for the kill and to leave blood puddles on the turf in sunny Arizona. I’m hoping Irish prevail—as they did against #1 Texas in ’77 Cotton Bowl — where the #4 Irish won — and Irish LB Bob Golic took down Heisman Trophy winner Earl Campbell with a slam dunk to the turf—a head on collision heard ’round the world. As Christmas approaches , I have sugar plums dancing in my head—but also visions of Notre Dame linebackers Smith and Schmidt slamming Ohio State RB Elliottt to the turf. May my vision come true. Go Irish.

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