When Notre Dame takes on North Carolina on Friday, the Irish will be without two of its five starting offensive linemen who have started every game together this year. The Irish lost Jarrett Patterson for the season with a foot injury and now will also be without starting right guard Tommy Kraemer following an appendectomy on Friday, according to Irish Illustrated.
How long Notre Dame will be without Kraemer, who is in his 4th season as a starter for the Irish, is unknown, though there is optimism that he will be back sooner rather than later.
Kraemer has been a mainstay in the Notre Dame offensive line for nearly four years – he’s started 37 games for the Irish throughout his career. He missed the final six games of t 2019 season after suffering a knee injury in the loss to Michigan.
With both Kraemer and Patterson out on Friday, Notre Dame’s decision on who to start at center actually becomes more straightforward. Sophomore Zeke Correll now seems likely to start with Josh Lugg likely filling for Kramer at right guard though Dillan Gibbons could also start at guard if Lugg were to start at center in place of Correll.
The good news for Notre Dame is that North Carolina does not have an elite defense. They don’t even have a mediocre defense, so the offensive line losses will hopefully be manageable as the Irish look to improve to 9-0 on the season. North Carolina has given up over 40 points a game over their last three contests.
Notre Dame’s depth will be tested on Friday, even against a weak Tar Heel defense. The Irish offensive line has been considered the best line in the country by many. Now they will have to replace 40% of it this week. The good news is that the Irish shouldn’t have to replace Kraemer long term, and it sounds like he should be back well in time for a potential ACC Championship game on December 19.