A couple weeks ago it looked like Notre Dame might be able to get Nick Watkins back this season. That glimmer of hope is gone after Brian Kelly announced on Sunday that Watkins’s latest x-ray didn’t give them the news they wanted. Watkins will have to have another surgery and is officially out for the season.
With the Notre Dame secondary under fire this year, the return of Nick Watkins would have been a nice boost, but now the Irish will have to continue with the youth movement in the secondary. Notre Dame has as many as four freshmen in the secondary at times on Saturday against Syracuse.
Watkins originally injured his arm back in the spring, but the injury has been slow to heal. As of a few weeks ago Brian Kelly mentioned that there had been some positive progress in his recovery even suggesting they could get Watkins back in a few weeks if all went well.
Watkins will retain a year of eligibility by sitting out the entire season and will have two years remaining.
Notre Dame will continue to be without Watkins and Shaun Crawford who was injured the second week of the season. Devin Butler’s status remains up in the air as the senior is still suspended and recovering from him his broken foot.
In their absence the secondary has taken a lot of hits this fall so far, but Saturday freshmen Donte Vaughn and Julian Love had their moments. Love got beat on a 72 yard touchdown when he mistimed his jump and fell to the ground leaving Amba Etta-Tawo to race to the endzone uncontested. Love actually had good coverage on the play which is at least encouraging given the breakdowns in coverages that have plagued the defense this year.