While Notre Dame received bad news on Daelin Hayes this week on the injury front, they got some relatively good news when it came to Shaun Crawford. The 5th year senior corner suffered what looked to be a pretty gruesome injury to his arm. It turned out not to be as bad as it looked and the Irish will only him for 3-4 weeks with a dislocated elbow.
Crawford’s injury didn’t look good when it happened. It looked so bad that NBC wouldn’t even show a replay of his arm bending in ways an arm isn’t meant to bend. Amazingly, the injury turned out to just be a dislocated elbow though and they could have him back in action as early as the Michigan game. So, while losing him for a month certainly isn’t ideal, the news today was much better than anyone was expecting.
Prior to dislocating his elbow, Crawford had 12 tackles with 2 pass breakups and an interception this season. From week one, his trademark ball-hawking skills have been on full display.
The 3-4 week designation puts the Michigan game right around a potential return – that is four weeks from the injury. Notre Dame has Bowling Green this coming weekend before hosting USC in two weeks and then getting their second bye of the year. The Irish can get by without Crawford against Bowling Green pretty easily, but it would have been ideal to have him for USC’s visit on October 12.
In interim, sophomore Tariq Bracy will start opposite Troy Pride on the outside with Crawford banged up. Bracy has been trending up so far this season even after getting beat for a touchdown in the first half yesterday. Bracy was simply the victim of a perfect pass and a perfect catch. He had great coverage and it took a perfect play from UVA to beat him.
Brian Kelly also said that ROVER Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah will get more playing time in the dime package. It would also be surprising if we didn’t see even more of freshman wunderkind Kyle Hamilton as well. JOK has been one of the most impressive new faces in the Notre Dame lineup in 2019. Another option is freshman KJ Wallace although the staff hasn’t made a decision on that yet. Whether or not they want to use Wallace’s redshirt will likely determine if he sees time while Crawford is sidelined.
For Crawford, the injury is just another roadblock for a kid who has had, hands down, the worst injury luck of any player I can ever remember to play for Notre Dame. He remarkably made a return from a third significant knee injury this fall to win a starting job when everyone wrote him off as just an option at nickel.
Thankfully this latest injury is not as bad as it looked and didn’t end his season. Crawford has a slam dunk case for a 6th year if he wants it, but reports are that Crawford wasn’t leaning that way – at least as recently as the summer.