Russell out six to eight weeks, Prosise has high ankle sprain
Alex Carson | Monday, November 23, 2015
Senior cornerback KeiVarae Russell will miss Saturday’s trip to No. 11 Stanford, while senior running back C.J. Prosise is doubtful, Irish head coach Brian Kelly announced Sunday during his weekly teleconference.
Russell, who left No. 4 Notre Dame’s 19-16 win over Boston College in the fourth quarter with an injury, fractured his right tibia, with surgery planned for Sunday night.
“KeiVarae has a tibia fracture, so he was casted after the game,” Kelly said. “[Sunday] they will have surgery and put a rod in there. So that is a six- to eight-week process for him. Certainly, you know, very disappointing.”
The timetable for his return means Russell is unlikely to return for a bowl game or national semifinal — however, if the Irish qualify for the playoff and advance to the title game, the senior cornerback could return.
“That’s a pretty hard number, the six to eight because of the bone growth situation there,” Kelly said. “We’re going to obviously do whatever we can [to get him back]. But I would think that it’s probably more towards the championship game than it is for a playoff game.”
The national championship is Jan. 11, 2016 in Glendale, Arizona — exactly seven weeks from Monday.
In Russell’s absence, Kelly expects three players to step into the open cornerback slot: junior Devin Butler, freshman Nick Coleman and sophomore Nick Watkins will be turned against Stanford, with the Irish staff reluctant to put the whole burden on one player.
“I don’t know that we want to put the pressure on one guy to say hey, you’re the guy that’s got to out there in the biggest game of the year and put it all on one guy,” Kelly said. “That’s why I think we want all three of those guys to be what we do with the cornerback position.”
Prosise, on the other hand, received a more encouraging prognosis, suffering a high ankle sprain on his left ankle.
“No fracture, no major damage to the ligaments, so very, very encouraging on that note relative to the ankle,” Kelly said of his senior running back’s injury. “We’ve got an MRI to follow up the X-ray and given the circumstances it looked to be good. But I would say that right now he’d be doubtful for this weekend.”
While Prosise likely will not play Saturday against Stanford, Kelly expects he’ll be back for Notre Dame’s bowl game in December or January.
“I think that’s very doable, and I think more than anything else we can make that statement based upon what we saw on the MRI,” Kelly said. “And unfortunately being, you know, seeing too many of these this year, we’ve got something to go off of and that we think that this is something we can manage.”
Freshman Josh Adams is expected to get his second start in three weeks at running back Saturday — he ran for 143 yards and a touchdown in his other career start Nov. 14 against Wake Forest.
“I think Josh has been solid for us,” Kelly said. “He certainly is a young player, but he is going to be counted on to play very well for us, and I’m sure he will.”
In addition to Adams, Kelly said freshman Dexter Williams will also see carries at running back, with sophomore quarterback DeShone Kizer also likely to play a part.
“Dexter is going to have to play little bit for us, as well,” Kelly said. “And DeShone ask going to have to pick up the load, too, in the running game.”
In other injury news, Kelly said he expects the return of sophomore defensive lineman Daniel Cage to the lineup Saturday; however, junior linebacker James Onwualu is still a few weeks away from a return.