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Football: Floyd, B. Smith to miss rest of regular season

Joe Meixell | Thursday, November 20, 2008

This Saturday when Notre Dame takes on Syracuse in the final home game of the season, it will be without the services of freshman wide receiver Michael Floyd.

“You try to build your depth as you go through the whole season,” Irish receivers coach Rob Ianello said.

Floyd left the field on the third play from scrimmage last Saturday against Navy and did not return. In a press conference Sunday afternoon, Irish coach Charlie Weis said that he, along with sophomore linebacker Brian Smith, had sprained his knee and would be out for approximately four weeks.

“It would really, really be unreasonable to see either one of them playing the next couple of weeks,” Weis said. “So, you know, the bad and the good. The bad: they miss the next two games, but the good is there will in all likelihood be another game left after that.”

The win in Baltimore made Notre Dame officially bowl eligible.

In the meantime, Ianello and Weis said that they feel comfortable delegating Floyd’s normal workload to the other regular receivers. This would mean increased touches for players like David Grimes, sophomore Duval Kamara and junior Robby Parris. Parris had one catch for nine yards after Floyd was sidelined against the Midshipmen.

“I thought Robby Parris stepped up really nicely on Saturday,” Ianello said. “We’ve played a lot of guys at a lot of different spots in practice to build ourselves in case someone broke a shoelace during the game and we had to put someone else in.”

Ianello also said that at 6-foot-4, 210 pounds, Parris’s size helps give Clausen a big target to look for in Floyd’s absence.

Weis said that the receiving corps had suffered injuries earlier in the season and he was not concerned with how they would react.

“Remember when Michael really started playing was at the expense of David Grimes early in the year. So now that we have a healthy David Grimes back, David and Michael are not the same body type and not the same player but certainly lessons the loss,” he said.

Grimes was hampered for most of the first half of the season with a back injury. The senior captain appeared to be back at full strength last week when he had three catches for 22 yards.

Both Ianello and Weis said that no new players will be thrown into the mix, eliminating the possibility of other promising true freshmen like Deion Walker or John Goodman seeing some action.

“We would do everything we could not to have that happen at this time,” Weis said.

Goodman and Walker have yet to play this season and would be eligible for a fifth year in the future.

Floyd, in the meantime, is dealing well with his first real serious injury.

“He’s been fine. He’s been doing everything the trainer has asked him to do. He’s in meetings, he’s attentive,” Ianello said.

He is expected to be back in practice by mid-December which the coaching staff is confident will be enough to rebuild his stamina for a potential bowl game.