Notre Dame Injury Update: Irish Unsure of Timeline for Hayes

Notre Dame played the entire first half without its starting DROP end Daelin Hayes on Saturday after the junior suffered a stinger against Stanford.  They ended up playing the entire second game without their backup DROP as well after Julian Okwara was flagged for targeting.  Okwara is back this weekend for Pitt, but it is unclear when Hayes will be back in the lineup as well.

“It’s simply a brachial plexus, so it’s the C-6, which is as we all know, a stinger,” Brian Kelly said on Sunday when asked about the injury to Hayes.

A simple injury, but not a simple return to the field according to Kelly.

“We’re very cautious and careful in making sure that we get consultations and make sure that everything is clearly presented. But this is just a matter of calming down this injury to the point where we can get him back out on the field,”Kelly said.  “They usually calm down in 24 to 36 hours. If they don’t, then the window opens up to six weeks. So once he’s asymptomatic, then he’ll be cleared to play. Then we’ll go from there. He was out obviously practicing non-contact because he was still symptomatic. Had some tingling in his hand.”

Not exactly the most clear answer there from Kelly, but in terms of coachspeak, it certainly sounds as though the Irish will be without Hayes this weekend when Pitt comes to town.  It might even be prudent for the Irish to rest Hayes this weekend even if he is cleared to ensure there isn’t a flare up of the injury.  Notre Dame has a bye week after this weekend’s contest with Pitt, so Hayes would in theory have been three full weeks removed from the injury.

That is all of course if Hayes is ready for action this week.  Kelly opened up the window to six weeks on Sunday which would place Hayes back in the Notre Dame lineup not until the Florida State game in November.

If Hayes is out again this week, Okwara will get the start and will be backed up by Jamir Jones and Justin Ademilola.  Junior SDE Ade Ogundeji also filled in a bit at DROP this weekend even though it’s a position he has not played in the past.  Assuming a full 60 minutes from Okwara, Ogundeji liekly stays at SDE this weekend.

Notre Dame did a great job replacing both Okwara and Hayes this weekend, but long term Notre Dame needs Hayes back in the lineup.  Before the injury Hayes had 10 QB pressures this year even though he did not have any sacks.  Those pressures though are what makes the Irish pass rush so effective even if it doesn’t get home and produce a sack.

Outside of the Hayes injury, it didn’t sound like there were any other major injuries this weekend though Troy Pride Jr was limping around a bit at the end of the game.  Kelly was not asked about other injuries on Sunday though and it should be noted as well that no one knew of the Hayes injury until a few hours before kick-off on Saturday when news broke that Hayes didn’t make the trip to Blacksburg.

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  1. Pete, you’ve been a voice in the wilderness calling on us to get some of our young speed merchants into the mix. Perhaps we will soon if we solve the overthrowing problem that both of our QB’s seem to have on deep routes. I would like to see that…but (1) it doesn’t matter who is running free out there if we don’t have a QB who can hit them when they are wide open
    and (2) they have to learn to block downfield first (on running plays and screens) and (3) they have to know the offense (which is not the simplest “O” in college football, to say the least) and also run the routes properly.

    I don’t know where Lenzy is on this learning curve at this time (I have not attended a practice since the late 80s or early 90s). I do know that it is not going to do an inexperienced freshman any good to get in a game, get wide open, and then get overthrown by 5 yards. And it won’t help the team much either. Book needs more work with the experienced guys…then send in the real speed merchants. That will fatally “spread” the defenses that line up against us…no matter how “elite” they are.

    BGC ’77 ’82

  2. someone on another site stated that this Notredame team was like the 88 national title team. While I see a lot of similarities there some key huge differences. First off that team proved it every game of the season. Two that team had an electric 4.28 speedster on offense and special teams rocket Ismael.coached by Lou Holtz. Now Brian Kelly contrary to what some believe is s very good coach. However he is not Lou Holtz

    1. I wrote an article that discusses the similarities between this team and the ‘77 team. This team is more like the ‘77 team than the ‘88 team IMO.

    2. I agree Pete. Over the past season and through half of this one I’ve seen some similarities to several past ND national championship teams, but overall, these guys are their own team, not quite like any other before them. One thing that does really seem similar to ’88 though is the front loaded schedule. Except for USC at the end, the ranked teams, the elite teams, were early in the year in ’88. We had Penn State in November of ’88, but they were not having a great year (by PS standards)…again, it seems similar to having FSU in November this year…but definitely not the best FSU team we’ve had to face in November!

      You know, we take a big risk front loading the way we do sometimes…but if you win early, there are big gains to be had…and since we are an independent, we can set our schedule up that way if we want to. For a lot of the stronger programs in conferences, the toughest part of their seasons are just now beginning.

      BGC ’77 ’82

    3. Rocket wasn’t in school for the 88 team. His first game was at The Big House, road opener for 1989 season. He was awesome. But he wasn’t on the 88 champ team.

      1. BETTER check the roster Will!! ROCKET was absolutely on 88 NATL. TITLE TEAM!! He ran back 2 kickoffs against RICE that year!! Caught the 55 yard bomb from TONY RICE against Miami!! Cant believe any ND fan wouldn’t know that!!

      2. Will, aside from seeing the Rocket in our stadium in ’88, I know I saw him mangle West Virginia in Tempe, Arizona, and I have the program, game ticket stubs, and pep rally ticket stub to prove it.

        BGC ’77 ’82

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