Notre Dame will be without a couple of players for the rest of the spring practice season. Head coach Brian Kelly confirmed the loss of offensive lineman Christian Lombard and wide receiver Will Mahone have undergone surgeries that will sideline the players for the remainder of spring practices. Both should be available in the fall.
A dislocated wrist is the culprit for the two-time starting offensive lineman Lombard. Lombard has played multiple positions on Notre Dame’s offensive line and was a Lombardi Award watch list player last season. His ability to play multiple positions is a key asset for the Irish. Last season Lombard started seven games at right guard but his season was cut short due to a herniated disk that required back surgery. The dislocated wrist does not appear to be something that will prevent Lombard from locking down a starting spot on the offensive line in the fall. Lombard underwent surgery on Thursday.
Mahone’s injury is a fracture in his right foot. He had undergone surgery earlier this month and is still in rehab to get to 100 percent. Mahone converted to wide receiver from running back last season but has had no impact so far.
Notre Dame will be without one of their top defensive players this weekend when the Irish travel to take on Air Force. According to multiple reports, defensive lineman Louis Nix III will not travel with the team for this weekend’s game against Air Force.
The senior suffered a shoulder injury in last weekend’s victory over USC in South Bend, Indiana. He did not return to the game for the Irish and has been held out of practice all week by head coach Brian Kelly, but Matt Fortuna, who covers Notre Dame for ESPN.com, reports Nix is being bothered by knee tendonitis.
Taking over for Nix on the starting defensive line will be senior Kona Schwenke, who has been listed directly behind Nix on Notre Dame’s depth chart as recently as this week.
Notre Dame has also lost right guard Christian Lombard for the remainder of the season. Lombard recently underwent surgery to remove a herniated disk and will hope to return to the Irish in 2014 for his final year of eligibility. In the meantime, Notre Dame will move freshman right tackle Steve Elmer to take over the starting job at Lombard’s now vacant right guard position.
Yesterday it was reported quarterback Tommy Rees is confident he will starting for Notre Dame this weekend. Rees had been taken out of the USC game last week with a neck strain, but the senior is optimistic about his availability this weekend.