Notre Dame tight end Cole Kmet suffered a broken collarbone during practice on Thursday. As first reported by Irish Illustrated and confirmed by the South Bend Tribune, Kmet sustained the injury during an awkward fall while fighting off coverage from safety Alohi Gilman.
The Irish originally hoped it would be a 3-6 week injury, but that prognosis has now been downgraded to 4-10 weeks. “We’re hoping New Mexico,” head coach Brian Kelly said Saturday.
A return for the New Mexico game would be on the lowest end of the timetable, causing Kmet to miss only the Labor Day opener at Louisville. If it’s on the high end, however, Kmet will not return until Notre Dame’s Oct. 26 trip to Michigan, the club’s seventh game of the season.
The junior caught 15 passes for 162 yards last season, but he was expected to see an increase roll following the graduations of senior wideouts Miles Boykin and Chris Finke and senior tight end Alize Mack. A Lake Barrington, Ill., native, Kmet is listed at 6-foot-6 and 255 pounds.
“He’ll be a guy that we’ll actually game plan (for) and certainly look at how he touches the football each and every week,” Kelly said in March. “We didn’t do that last year.”
This is not the first upper body injury Kmet has suffered this year. Also a pitcher on Notre Dame’s baseball team, he saw his diamond season cut short due to elbow soreness.