Last night’s big win over Stanford didn’t come without costs. The Irish had several players get hurt throughout the contest that ended in a 38-17 Irish victory. It sounds as though some of them may end up being pretty costly too. Brian Kelly will very likely have more details on these injuries during his Sunday presser, but here is what we know as of now.
Alex Bars has a knee injury
UPDATE: Brian Kelly confirmed that Alex Bars’s knee injury will almost certainly cost the 5th year senior captain the season.
“Alex Bars, it’s a knee injury,” Brian Kelly said. “He was able to walk off. That was good news. But we won’t know until we get the MRI. We’ll get the MRI and get a better understanding of his situation.”
If you saw this play, you know it did not look good at all. In fact, it looked downright scary. Bars got completely bent backwards. As Kelly mentioned he was able to walk off the field on his own, but it would honestly be pretty shocking if the injury wasn’t serious. If so, it would be such a shame for Bars who was having himself a really good 5th year.
When Bars left the game, Trevor Ruhland came in at left guard. Ruhland played right guard in place of Tommy Kraemer last week against Wake Forest and a little two weeks ago as well. Ruhland was solid filling in for Bars, but obviously losing Bars, a 5th year senior captain, for any extended period of time is a big loss.
Jafar Armstrong is likely out a few weeks
News broke on Friday that Notre Dame would be without sophomore running back Jafar Armstrong and after last night’s win we got some more clarity into the injury. “We have to go in there surgically and clean up the infection,” said Kelly. “So that wound’s gotta heal, especially — it was a bursa sac infection. So that’s going to be a couple of weeks.”
In terms of a timeframe for a return, it sounds like it’ll be a few weeks at least. “I would say if we’re really truthful here I’d say that we probably don’t get him back until after the bye week.”
That would mean Armstrong would miss at least the next two games – at Virginia Tech and then home versus Pitt.
Tony Jones Jr sprained an ankle
Running back depth took another hit late in the game when Tony Jones Jr went down with what looked like a serious injury. Jones appeared to be in a lot of pain, but the good news is, it doesn’t sound that bad. “Tony Jones has an ankle sprain. We’ll see how he responds to treatment tomorrow and then moving forward that is as tolerated.”
An ankle sprain is definitely better than what it appeared to be, but Jones has been hobbled by ankle sprains in the past that have lingered. Even if Jones responds well to treatment, it sounds as if Notre Dame will be headed to Blacksburg with Dexter Williams, Avery Davis, Jahmir Smith, and C’bo Flemister at running back.
Smtih got into the game in the final minutes and looked OK so it appears he is ahead of Flemister on the depth chart, but Notre Dame might need them both next weekend if Jones is unable to go.
Luckily Notre Dame got Dexter Williams back from suspension this week. The senior running back exploded for 161 yards and a touchdown in his first action of 2018. It looks like he will be leaned on heavily the next few weeks at least.
Drue Tranquill played with a broken hand?
There are some reports that Drue Tranquill played the last three quarters of last night’s game with a broken hand. Kelly didn’t address it in his post game press conference, but expect him to be asked about it later today. If that is the case, it might explain why Tranquill wasn’t able to hang on to that 3rd quarter potential interception from KJ Costello.
Tranquill was an absolute beast last night – just as he has been all year long. The 5th year senior clearly did not want to end his career without playing in a Notre Dame win over Stanford and it showed.
Khalid Kareem got banged up a bit but seems OK
Khalid Kareem was down on the mat a few times and had to come off the field, but he kept coming back on just like he kept coming at KJ Costello. Kelly wasn’t asked about Kareem and offered no updates so it sounds like the junior defensive end is alright. The last time Kareem limped off the field, the game had been decided and as he came off he motioned for the crowd to get louder. They obliged.