Brian Kelly provided injury updates on a trio of Notre Dame starters who all missed either Saturday’s win over Duke – Brayden Lenzi, Kyle Hamilton, and Bennett Sterronk. Two of the three may return this weekend, though it seemed that only one of the three was likely to play against South Florida.
Kyle Hamilton could play day to day
Kyle Hamilton’s injury was his biggest fear of the season opener. Initially, it looked terrible, but we quickly discovered that Notre Dame had survived the disaster and the injury was just an ankle sprain. On Monday, Kelly said that Hamilton would be in the boot running until Wednesday, and then they would see where he is at. He left the door open for Hamilton playing this weekend, and the official depth chart lists Hamilton as starting today.
Kelly said the team’s doctors officially think about Hamilton day in and day out. When he didn’t rule Hamilton this weekend, I’d be surprised to see Hamilton this weekend. Notre Dame should be quite good on defense that could beat a 4-8 team last year that featured a new coaching staff without Hamilton, so why risk it? We know that Notre Dame needs Hamilton to have a shot against Clemson and a more challenging game this year, so it makes sense for him to rest and get some reps to Houston Griffith and Isaiah Prior.
We will see what happens throughout the week.
Brayden Lenzi should be back
Brian Kelly admitted over the weekend reports that Lenzi was hurt that kept him out against Duke. However, he said that Lenzi should be close to 100% on Tuesday and if he is, he will play this weekend.
It should have fans of Notre Dame – and offensive coordinator Tommy Rees is overjoyed. The Notre Dame offense missed Lenji’s game-breaking speed and playmaking ability. He tried to use Lawrence Keys on some jet sweeps, but that didn’t work out how we saw him working with Lenzi in the second half of the year.
Bennett Skowronek seems skeptical
While Kelly gave a promising update on Lenzi, his update on Skovonk was not as sunny. He is out on the final drive of the first half with a hamstring injury. With graduate-transfer outs and Lenzi back, Jevon McKinley returns to range and figures to resume this week.
The Notre Dame graduate transfer did not have the best luck with wide receivers and injuries. In 2017, Notre Dame started the season as Michigan transfer Freddie Canteen and Arizona State transfer Cameron Smith. Neither made it out of September before their lone season at Notre Dame ended with injuries. Hopefully, Skowronek does not suffer the same fate and may soon return from there.
With Skowronk in the second half, Joe Wilkins led Notre Dame receivers in receptions and can play a role in this offense as he loved watching you at a receiver. He threw everything away.