Notre Dame HC Brian Kelly Updates Injury Status For Kyle Hamilton, Ben Skowronek, Braden Lenzy

Bryan Driskell

Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly spoke with the media on Monday in advance of his team's upcoming contest against the South Florida Bulls. Kelly talked about a number of topics, including the injury status of two players on the team, and the return of a player that missed the opener with an injury.

Sophomore safety Kyle Hamilton went down with an apparent ankle injury during the game and did not return. Kelly said Hamilton will be in a walking boot until Wednesday, which puts his status for the game on Saturday as questionable. Kelly said they will see how he responds at that time.

"He's in a walking boot. He had a scan that came back clean," Kelly said. "We'll keep him in a walking boot until Wednesday. Our team doctors feel like he's day-to-day. This is a matter of pain management and how he feels. We'll get him out of the boot mid-week and start moving him around and see how he feels."

With Notre Dame holding such a significant advantage over the Bulls, who went 4-8 last season, it might benefit the Irish to hold Hamilton out this weekend and not risk further aggravating the ankle injury. Ankle injuries can linger all season, and Notre Dame needs Hamilton as healthy as possible.

The Irish also need to get other safeties like Houston Griffith and DJ Brown going in order to establish depth, and getting them additional reps on Saturday could have long term benefits.

Kelly also said wide receiver Ben Skowronek had a hamstring injury, and he was less optimistic about the veteran wideout playing this week, although Kelly didn't come out and say he would definitely be out.

Kelly did say, however, that Javon McKinley would move back to the boundary, which is great news for the Irish offense.

That is due in part to the injury to Skowronek and partly due to the return of junior Braden Lenzy, who missed the Duke game with a hamstring injury. Lenzy is expected to be at full speed this week, which reading between the lines from Kelly was a big reason for keeping him out of the Duke game, to give him just a bit more time to get back to full speed.

Kelly also noted that young receivers like Xavier Watts and Jordan Johnson might get more of a look this week as well.

"... We’ve got to get a young guy ready," stated the Irish head coach. "Somebody’s got to step up now and accelerate their growth, whether that’s Xavier [Watts] or Jordan [Johnson], somebody’s got to continue to grow."

Getting the talented young freshmen going early in the season is absolutely something the staff needs to do, and this would be a great week to do that. Not just late game action in a blowout, but getting at least one of them involved with the first offense in a legit rotation situation.


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