Injuries mount for Irish
KALAMAZOO, Mich. -- It's a good week for Notre Dame to be playing Western Michigan. The Limping Irish could use a break.
A day after fifth-year center Dan Wenger officially announced that his career in South Bend was over because of two concussions within weeks of each other earlier in the fall, coach Brian Kelly confirmed that tight end Kyle Rudolph's hamstring surgery, which will sideline the junior for six months, is scheduled for Friday and that tailback Armando Allen is questionable for Saturday.
"He's got a hip flexor," ND coach Brian Kelly said of Allen. "So we're going to be cautious with him. We think we can be with Cierre (Wood) and (Robert) Hughes -- and Jonas (Gray) is going to be back this week. We've had six rugged games, physical games. He's going to dress and he's going to want to play. We'll have to see what it looks like on Saturday."
Notre Dame, at 3-3 and favored by 24 points, is eyeing a winning record for the first time this season. But Kelly said Allen's determination to bang heads with the Broncos is more of a personal matter. In his time in South Bend, Allen's never played in more than six consecutive games without sitting out due to injury.
"He's already told me that he's got to play," Kelly said.Adding that, "this is kind of a milestone for him."
Here's more from Kelly on Wednesday:
On offensive tackle Taylor Dever's recovery from a hamstring injury: "[He's] a little better. He's still not anchored the way I want him on pass rush. He looks really good on everything right now. But we're going to have to see. That's not a situation where I'm ready to make a decision on him. he's going to have to show another day. He was better today than yesterday. I need to see a little more tomorrow."
On Tyler Eifert and Mike Ragone taking Rudolph's place: "I really like both of them. Eifert and Ragone, they're a great tandem and a complement. And I think they're going to fill in and do a really, really good job. I'm not concerned about that position, really."
On the loud music at practice: "It's interesting, we play music for the offense when you're on the road. And we had, for the first time in a while, we struggled a little bit defensively with three or four calls late in the game because our crowd was so loud. And so defensively, you're giving out signals, just like you would on offense, and we missed a couple of them. So yesterday was Hawaiian and Polynesian music, and it was outstanding selections by Robby Toma. There was no Don Ho. That was the first question I asked, too. Today was for the linemen, so there was a mixture. I don't know what we'll do tomorrow."
On the team's new TECHFIT jerseys: "They're really excited about them. They're 30 percent lighter, the adidas jersey. It's a compression fit. And we put them on today, because there are some fitting issues relative to the pads and how they feel. But they look great, the kids love them, and we're going to put the defense in their jerseys tomorrow so we'll have everybody get a feel for the new jersey."