Brian Kelly Provides Optimistic Injury Update for Notre Dame

Notre Dame exited their second game of the season without any significant additions to the injury report.  On Sunday, Brian Kelly updated the media on the status of the players Notre Dame was without on Saturday in their 66-14 beatdown of New Mexico.

Cole Kmet on schedule to return

The best news that Brian Kelly had on Sunday was that he was “encouraged” that Cole Kmet would be cleared to play against Georiga.  While Tommy Tremble has made some nice plays in the passing game the last two weeks, getting Kmet back could change the complexion of the offense by opening up the middle of the field.

Tremble has also been overmatched in the running game these past two weeks.  Considering those two games were against Louisville and New Mexico and the Irish face the Georgia defense this weekend, getting Kmet back would indeed be huge.

The timeline for Kmet’s return has always suggested that he would be available for this game and it looks like the will be the case.  Kmet suited up yesterday but did not play.  He has a check-up tomorrow so expect to hear something more definitive from Kelly at his regular Tuesday presser.

Michael Young is out for Georgia this weekend

Unfortunately, Notre Dame will not have junior receiver Michael Young back this weekend.  Young suffered the same injury as Kmet only a week after.  As such, it was always going to be a stretch that Young would be back in time for the Georgia game.

In his absence this weekend, senior Javon McKinley hauled in two touchdowns including a 65-yarder that featured six broken tackles.  On Saturday after the game, Kelly called himself a “moron” for not getting McKinley the ball more, and on Sunday he said McKinley would be a significant part of the offense moving forward.

Should McKinley have another big game this weekend in Athens, Young could find himself in a Wally Pip situation when he is eventually cleared to play.

Jahmir Smith questionable for this weekend

Jahmir Smith was a late addition to the injury report last week.  The sophomore running back suffered a toe injury that Kelly described as turf toe last week.  Smith did not suit up against New Mexico, but Kelly said on Sunday that he is optimistic Smith will be able to play this weekend.

With Smith sidelined along with starting running back Jafar Armstrong, Notre Dame moved Avery Davis back to running back.  The junior utility player responded with a 59-yard touchdown that was officially a reception but was an extension of the run game.

Notre Dame struggled to run the ball with any success on Saturday without Armstrong and Smith, but at the same time, they didn’t even really try to establish it.

No update on Jafar Armstrong

Brian Kelly did not update the status of Jafar Armstrong on Sunday, but last week Kelly indicated that the junior running back would be sidelined for several weeks.  We knew last week already there wasn’t a chance for Notre Dame to get Armstrong back in time for Georgia.

In an ideal world, Notre Dame would have Young back this weekend too, but if they can at least get Kmet and Smith back, Ian Book has more options in the passing game and the running game maybe has a chance to do something.

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  1. I just wanted to share my thoughts on Notredames running game This is Brian Kelly’s 10th year at Notredame and we continue to struggle in the running game especially in 3rd and short yardage situations.During these 10 years Kelly has had 3 outstanding line coaches who have been highly successful wherever they have coached Ed Warriner Harry Heistand Jeff Quinn.Also during this time we have put many lineman in the NFL who have been very successful.Ronnie Stanley Zach Martin ,etc.Also all the reports recruiting gurus rank notredames oline really high every year.Kraemer and Eichemberg 2 of the best in Ohio.Kraemer a 5 star Ohio State went all out for.Hainsy on a lot of all American lists Patterson and Banls high 4 stars out of California.So with all of this why does Notredame struggle so much running the ball? I dont think the problem is with the running backs per say.I believe the problems are with the formations structure and schemes of the offense.No creativity misdirection. Backs too far from the line of scrimmage.Plays too slow in developing. Lineman can’t hold blocks that long too predictable.What do you guys think.?

    1. 0-LINE has been inconsistent the last 2 years, good game bad game. That being said the running game was non-existent again against a team they outsized and should have ran all over!! ND has a very slim chance to beat GEORGIA but if the o-line cant move the big boys ( like it couldn’t against Clemson ) this will be a long nite!! IRISH are in desperate need for speed in the backfield, and WR when it comes to the ELITE teams!!

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