Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly had a lot of injury information to provide during his Monday press conference ahead of the Fighting Irish matchup against USC.
The good news is that sophomore tight end Michael Mayer appears to be healthy and ready to go.
Mayer was limping noticeably at the end of a 24-13 loss to Cincinnati, a game in which he caught eight passes for 93 yards. Kelly said then that Mayer, who has a team-leading 32 pass receptions for 360 yards with three touchdown catches, has been wrestling with the injury all season. Kelly indicated that Mayer will probably play against USC on Saturday.
“He practiced last week and he looks to be 100%,” Kelly said. “He weight trained and looked good.”
Kelly said that freshman quarterback Tyler Buchner, who injured his hamstring against Virginia Tech, wasn’t a full go last week. He expects him to be better this week.
“I wouldn’t say he was 100% last week,” Kelly said. “He got a lot of reps. He should be 100% for this week.”
Cane Berrong, a backup freshman tight end, tore his medal collateral ligament in practice last week and he’s done for the season.
Kelly said that a rough timeline for the return of tight end Kevin Bauman, who fractured his leg in the opener against Florida State, is two weeks. The injury to Berrong, Bauman and the fact freshman Mitchell Evans will be out for the first half of the game against USC, the Irish are scrambling for depth at the position.
For now, Michael Carmody, who has played left tackle, is listed as the third or fourth tight end. Kelly said he’ll stay there until Bauman returns. Joe Alt, a freshman, is listed as the starting left tackle with sophomore Tosh Baker listed as his backup.
Kelly also noted that running back Chris Tyree, who went down early in the win over Virginia Tech, was also cleared to play for this weekend’s matchup against USC.
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