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Irish’s leading tackler undergoes season-ending surgery

Jarrett Grace AP

Sidelined in the first half of Notre Dame’s win with what was thought to be a significant lower-body injuryJarrett Grace has officially seen his 2013 season come to an end.

The starting inside linebacker broke the tibia in his right leg Saturday night against Arizona State and underwent season-ending surgery at a Dallas-area hospital.  He remained hospitalized and did not travel with his teammates back to South Bend.

The loss of Grace is a significant blow to the Irish defense as he came into the game leading the team in tackles with 37.  He’s still tied for the team lead with 40.

The junior had started every game this season after playing in all 13 games in 2012.

In addition to Grace’s loss, wide receiver Daniel Smith saw his season end after suffering a broken ankle.  Smith’s injury, though, likely ends his career as the receiver is a senior.

While he had just one reception this season, Smith was viewed as one of the Irish’s best blockers at the wide receiver position.

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