NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Notre Dame came out of Saturday’s win over UNLV in pretty good shape on the injury front. Head coach Marcus Freeman updated a couple players during his Monday press conference.
Senior Jack Kiser was Notre Dame’s second leading tackler through the first six games of the season with 34, but he played just five snaps against UNLV.
"He had a thigh bruise,” Freeman stated. "Pretty deep tissue thigh bruise, but expect him to be back tomorrow at practice.”
Even after missing most of the game, Kiser is still No. 2 on the tackles list behind JD Bertrand’s 43.
Another linebacker, Prince Kollie, was banged-up in the first quarter against the Rebels. Freeman says he suffered a “lower leg injury”.
"He bounced back,” Freeman said of Kollie. “I think it was…I don’t know if he got stepped on. It was part of the punt block. We blocked the punt and he was more concerned about saying he blocked the punt, not (Isaiah) Foskey.”
Kollie only missed a series and was then able to get back on the field. He finished the game with one tackle. His health is more important now after the season-ending knee injury Bo Bauer suffered two weeks ago. Kollie is taking more defensive snaps as well as getting more time on the special teams Bauer was on.
Freshman cornerback Benjamin Morrison also left the field after a special teams snap, but he quickly returned. The Irish head coach said he simply had the wind knocked out of him.
Kollie has seen his playing time start to ramp up in recent games. Freeman says he and other players might try to pop back up too soon sometimes after suffering an in-game injury.
“We tell them if you’re hurt stay down,” Freeman said. “If you’re hurt you’ve got to stay down, because all of a sudden, one, you can’t do your job you need to be off the field. But two, teams are going tempo and you’re trying to hobble off the field and they’re going fast, stay down. If you’re hurt stay down. Get you off the field, let’s get evaluated and then when you’re ready, come back. That’s part of that growth.
Both Bo Bauer and Avery Davis are out for the season after knee surgeries. They have continued to stay close to the team, helping in whatever ways they can. Freeman said they’re a good model for everyone on the team to see.
“Everybody has to have value,” Freeman began. “Alright, if you’re going to be on this travel squad or you’re going to be at a game you have to have value. So, a guy like Bo Bauer or a guy like Avery Davis, this is their last year (and) they’re captains. They have to understand, and they do, I don’t need to tell them….where’s my value, what can I give back, how can I help this football team?
“Me rehabbing myself, yeah that’s one thing, but to help this football team is another. They’re mature, they’re older, they understand the importance of that.
Bauer and Davis are both veterans who have been around the program for more than a decade combined. Freshman tight end Eli Raridon just suffered his own season-ending knee injury last week.
“Hopefully, a guy like Eli will see that,” Freeman said of the example Bauer and Davis have set. “Eli helping somebody else is really going to help Eli learn more. Shoot, I would love to see Eli coach up Michael Mayer. You know, give Michael Mayer some pointers. That's going to help Eli grow, because Eli’s going to be a guy that is going to do big things for us in the future. “
Freeman stressed the idea that everyone, not just injured players, has to bring their own value to the team. Whether it’s a redshirt or a walk-on cheering for his teammates or other reserves who are on the fringe of making the travel roster.
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