A broken collarbone is usually a 4-6 week recovery time. If that is how long Kmet is out, it’s not ideal, but it’s far from disastrous at the same time. That kind of timeframe would likely mean a return in time for Notre Dame’s trip to Athens, if not sooner.
Brian Kelly has not yet confirmed Kmet’s injury, but he will likely have some update on Saturday when he is scheduled to meet with the media. Now, if that update gives us a more prolonged timeframe on Kmet’s recovery time, then it could be a different story.
The breakout that many, myself included, were predicting for Kmet this season will have to wait a little longer. Waiting for that breakout is not something new for Kmet though. Last year he was slowed down by a high ankle sprain that lingered for the better part of the season.
Kmet was slowed down in the spring with elbow soreness that caused him to sit out the baseball season to focus on recovery and football. Today’s news is just the latest in a line of injuries that have prevented the junior tight end from fully breaking out.
As a sophomore in 2018, Kmet hauled in 15 passes for 162 yards. His first touchdown in 2019 will be the first of his collegiate career. Had it not been for that ankle injury last year, some felt he could have passed Alize Mack by season’s end.
With Kmet expected out of the lineup for at least a little while, Notre Dame turns to senior Brock Wright and sophomore Tommy Tremble at tight end in the short term.
Wright can more than hold his own on the blocking front, but there will be a dropoff in the receiving department. He only caught two passes in 2018, but one did go for a touchdown.
The passing game is where Notre Dame needs Tremble to step up. Tremble was one of the surprises of spring practice, and it was already looking like he was going to force his way onto the field this fall. There’s no question he’ll be on the field early and often now.
Notre Dame has suffered a couple of other injuries so far in camp as well, but none with the expected impact of Kmet’s. Sophomore running back Jahmir Smith broke his hand but has still been able to practice. He has been competing for reps behind Jafar Armstrong and Tony Jones Jr.
Freshman Quinn Carroll wasn’t as lucky. His first collegiate season came to a premature end when he tore his ACL in practice earlier this week. Carroll probably wasn’t going to factor into the depth chart as a true freshman but losing an entire season of practice time could impede his development.