Another Cruel Twist of Injury Fate For Notre Dame’s Tyler Buchner

Shoulder injury will sideline sophomore quarterback for the rest of the 2022 season.

Notre Dame head coach Marcus Freeman confirmed what everyone suspected from when they saw Tyler Buchner’s left arm hanging and freshman QB Steve Angelli supporting it on the sideline. The sophomore quarter suffered a shoulder injury that ended his season before it ever really started. Yet another cruel twist of fate for the extremely athletic quarterback whose young career has been marred by injuries.

Things did not start for Buchner as he or anyone could have hoped they would as the starting quarterback for the Fighting Irish. A valiant effort against Ohio State was followed up by a disappointing showing against Marshall capped by what turned out to be a game-sealing pick-6 for the Thundering Herd. Then another injury.

Buchner left the Marshall game in the fourth quarter after getting hit at the end of a scramble as he tried to get the Irish back in the game after the pick-6 that put the Irish down two scores the drive before. Before the hit, Buchner connected on just 18 of 32 passes for 201 yards without a touchdown and two interceptions. However, he did lead the Irish with 44 yards rushing, including his second rushing touchdown of the season.

Before ever enrolling at Notre Dame, Buchner’s prep career was highlighted by two major knee injuries. Once enrolled at Notre Dame last year, he suffered a minor injury early in the 2021 season and then another minor injury that forced him to miss the Blue & Gold game in the spring (though he would have reportedly played if that were a real game).

Now, this: a grade 5 AC sprain that comes with a 4-month recovery time frame. “He ended up getting a high grade – 5 out of 6 – AC sprain in his non-throwing shoulder,” Freeman said on Monday when addressing the media to talk about this weekend’s game with Cal. “He’ll end up having surgery tomorrow with Dr. Ratigan. The expected recovery time is about four months, so we can all do the math,” he added.

Because of all of the injuries, Buchner will now enter his junior season in 2022, having played very little football over three years since he lost his senior high school season because California moved their 2020 season to spring after Buchner was already enrolled at Notre Dame.

Forgetting the football perspective for a minute, this news is awful for Buchner on a human level. After all his injuries, he fought through them and won the starting quarterback spot at the University of Notre Dame, only to lose it, at least for now, after two games due to another injury. You can’t help but feel for the kid and cheer for him to make a full recovery and get right back out there to win the job again.

With Buchner out for the rest of the 2022 season, Notre Dame turns to junior Drew Pyne who Buchner beat out for the starting job this summer, with Angelli, a true freshman from New Jersey, waiting in the wings as the backup.

Buchner’s injury further muddies the waters of the quarterback position in 2023 and beyond. The hope from Notre Dame’s side was for Buchner to take the reigns and run with them this season and, at the very least, next. However, with Buchner missing ten games this season, he will have played in a total of 12 games over a three-season span – and four of those appearances were just mop-up duty in 2021.

Notre Dame missed out on 5-star quarterback Dante Moore after going all-in on him with no current likely quarterback for the class of 2023 though they are attempting to get back in on 4-star Avery Johnson and exploring other options. Notre Dame does have CJ Carr committed for the class of 2024, and there are reports that Notre Dame is trying to get Carr to reclassify for 2023.

Buchner’s latest injury, combined with a potential miss in recruiting, could force Notre Dame to dip into the transfer portal for a ‘23 quarterback, similar to how they did last year with Jack Coan. Short term, though, that’s the least of their concerns. The offense wasn’t humming along or even making much a murmur with Buchner. Now the Irish will have another quarterback making their starting debut on Saturday.

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  1. Buckner led ND in rushing! With a whopping 44 yards.
    ……in a huge loss, and he’ll quite possibly never get to start at
    QB for ND again.
    Recruit…and use….running backs. Design…..and use…. creative run plays.
    Or recruit a burly option QB, and let him plow away.

  2. Buchner has never performed in any ND game he’s played to the hyped expectations of this “amazing running QB”. His runs don’t create any defensive chaos (granted, a significant part of that is O line and/or RB weakness causing him to be the only one expected to run anywhere but up the middle).

    Book wasn’t a running QB until he had to be (and not great at it). Coan didn’t run at all. ND is designed as a passing team. Quick attacks to the sides or TE’s pulling the defense in, then long gains from a barely covered speedy Wideout. Would I love it if we had a fantastic runner to offset this? Sure! But we don’t, and shouldn’t expect a mediocre QB with no real success to be that guy. Pyne may not be able to run, but at least he gets the long pass accurately without overthrowing. Put him in, guard that pocket with your life, and he’ll make plays with this team.

  3. Some good posts here. Good that some realize that BK was running the offense. Even though he gave Rees the title, Kelly was still in control, and Rees needed that, he’s still learning. We should bring in an experienced co-OC to help him out. That’s what Saban is doing at Bama. How do you guys think he remains on top every year? He has assistants and consultants all over the place. I’m also reading about how many schools have been paining to find a QB for years. It’s hard, guys. Hopefully Freeman is going all out in his recruiting efforts. That’s what Marshall has been doing and that’s how they beat us like that. It’s a team full of transfers from power 5 schools. We have to be patient. The only coach with experience on our sideline is Al Golden. It may take a few years for us to get it going, but it will happen.

  4. do and isn’t have the physique to run the ball 10-15 times a game. So he didn’t. And no one asked him to. And he lasted the season and helped the team.
    And idiots here complained that he didn’t run the ball, and ridiculed his immobility…….even as he delivered a great season.

    Well, Buchner obviously doesn’t have the bulky, muscular physique to take the pounding from running the ball. But he ran the ball. And now ND doesn’t have a QB1 for the rest of the year.
    And you idiots are too busy now wringing your hands, clutching your pearls, and lighting your pitch fork torches to learn.

    Again, I’m amazed at how no one ever understands the word “risk” until it becomes a reality. And still not get it.

  5. This is devastating news for the Irish. Drew Pyne is a horrible back up QB. He will get killed. He looked so fat and out of shape in the Spring game. Clearly embarrassing that a D1 skill position player could look that bad. I doubt Angeli is ready to lead this team but he may not have a choice.
    This last weekends debacle is clearly on the coaching staff. Heistand and Rees are fucking garbage and I would put them on notice immediately. No excuse for Heistand. He is an experienced coach who inherited a big talented offensive line. The O line has been a shitshow. Rees is clearly in over his head. Rees may have been the OC the last two years but It was Kelly running the offense. Now with Kelly gone Rees seems to be lost. He needs to be gone at end of the season.
    It’s time for Freeman to wake the Fuck up. Stop playing Mr. Nice guy and start kicking some ass on your coaches and players. There is no excuse whatsoever to look that bad against a team of Marshall’s caliber. The talent pool at Notre Dame is clearly superior to Marshall. Wake up Freeman the honeymoon hire is over.

    1. Good luck to Buchner going forward.Prayers for his healing.Buchner has had injuries in high school and college now and does not have the physical makeup for football.Hope he reconsiders playing football because he is not effective and is fragile.

      1. Ed, Gregor, my father (God rest his soul) was an emeritus professer, at Notre Dame from 1964 to 1984.
        Every few years he’d say of one of our players (often also one of his students) “he just doesn’t have the body for the game” Let’s hope that’s not the case here.

        BGC 77 72

    2. It’s painfully obvious that Kelly seen this coming and bolted with a bunch of excuses in my opinion… this is more about recruiting flaws under Kelly than the current regime. Maybe I’m wrong??

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