Notre Dame defensive lineman Louis Nix underwent season ending surgery for a torn meniscus Thursday. Irish head coach Brian Kelly announced the injury news Thursday as Notre Dame prepares for a weekend match-up against BYU.
The loss of Nix is obviously a big loss on the defensive line for Notre Dame. Nix and Stephon Tuitt gave Notre Dame one of the better defensive lines in the country, but Nix has been banged up this season. He missed a game against Air Force due to tendonitis and a shoulder injury was suffered in a game against USC.
Nix is expected to be a high draft pick in the 2014 NFL Draft. Getting surgery now rather than waiting until after the season will give him more time to rehab and prepare for the NFL Draft. It would make sense to get it taken care of now with the Irish not competing for any big bowl game or championship and Nix still in position to be drafted highly if he is in optimum shape.
In his absence, Nix will see his position filled by Kona Schwenke and Jarron Jones. The two will split time for the Irish for the reminder of the season unless one stands out more than the other in what is left of the 2013 season for Notre Dame.
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.