Notre Dame suffered its second potentially significant injury of the summer during Saturday’s open practice. Starting wide receiver, Michael Young went down with a shoulder injury and could miss several weeks according to Blue and Gold Illustrated. That would be bad news for a Notre Dame offense that’s spent the offseason trying to become more explosive.
According to the B&G report, Young may need surgery and could be out for several weeks. Several weeks isn’t catastrophic for the Notre Dame offense, but it certainly is far from ideal – especially if it puts Young’s status for Georgia in doubt given Cole Kmet’s uncertain timeline for his return from a broken collarbone.
Brian Kelly did not offer much up in terms of details on Young’s injury following practice.
Before his injury on Saturday, Young had a fantastic camp. The junior receiver has flashed at times the last two seasons, but this summer he had been much more consistent. He had been making some crazy catches all summer long as well.
With Young sidelined for part of practice, Chris Finke moved over to the “X” position and Lawrence Keys filled in at the “Z” (aka slot). That would seem like an odd alignment long term for Notre Dame if Young is out for a while. Finke is tailormade for the slot.
If Notre Dame has to play for several weeks without Michael Young, they could look to Javon McKinley at “X.” The senior has had a bit of a renaissance this summer, but he missed practice on Saturday.
In an ideal world, sophomore Kevin Austin would step right into Young’s role for however long he is out, but as we all know, it sure sounds like Austin is facing some University imposed suspension.
Isaiah Robertson, who had been buried on the depth chart, used Saturday to showcase his talent with Young and McKinley unavailable.
Sophomore Braden Lenzy could be another option for Notre Dame at the “X” if Young misses significant time. Lenzy is the fastest receiver on the roster and certainly would give Notre Dame some of the explosiveness it losses without Young on the field.
Even if Notre Dame has to line up week one without Young and Kmet, the Irish should have enough firepower to get past Louisville without much trouble. Game two against New Mexico shouldn’t be an issue either. Game three on September 21st in Athens though is the big one. That’s an all hands on deck kind of game, so if Young is out for more than a month, the Irish will be shorthanded.
Donte Vaughn Also Nicked Up
Senior cornerback has also been slowed by a quad injury that caused him to sit out portions of practice on Saturday. The injury is not expected to keep Vaughn out of practice very long. Kelly said that he should be a full go again this week. Vaughn has all but locked down the starting cornerback position opposite Troy Pride already this summer.
With Vaughn sidelined, sophomore TaRqiq Bracy took first-team reps on Saturday.