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Notre Dame

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    Notre Dame’s defense may have reached the breaking point when it comes to injuries, with Irish coach Brian Kelly referring to the unit as “devastated.”The latest downer:

Irish spring: 2 football players transfer, 2 injured

Notre Dame’s spring football roster was reconfigured by transfers and injuries.

Coach Brian Kelly confirmed to reporters Wednesday that sophomore receivers Davonte’ Neal and Justin Ferguson will transfer and that running back Amir Carlisle and defensive end Chase Hounshell suffered injuries.

Neal and Ferguson are the third and fourth players from Notre Dame’s 2012 signing class to leave the program. Quarterback Gunner Kiel decided to leave before spring practice began March 20, and cornerback Tee Shepard left two months after enrolling in January 2012.

“Davonte’ Neal and Justin Ferguson are no longer part of the football program, and they won’t be in the future,” Kelly said. “We wish them the very best in their future endeavors.”

Neal, a 5-foot-9, 178-pounder, was primarily a punt returner last season, returning 21 punts for 46 yards. He also had one catch for minus five yards and one carry for seven yards.

Ferguson, a 6-foot, 192-pounder, also play primarily on special teams last season and had one reception for nine yards.

“This is a process every year we go through, you have some additions, you have some deletions, but we didn’t miss a step,” Kelly said.

Kelly told reporters that Carlisle suffered a broken collarbone and Hounshell re-injured his right shoulder that kept him out last season. Hounshell will miss this season, Kelly said.

“He’ll have to have surgery again,” Kelly said. “Certainly feel terrible for Chase. After a second injury, you can imagine how disappointing it is for him and for us.”

Carlisle is expected to be out for four weeks. It is the second injury for the USC transfer, who missed last season with a broken ankle after being granted a waiver by the NCAA to play without sitting out a season.

Kelly said Carlise had surgery Tuesday to repair the injury, which occurred during a contact drill.

“A minor setback,” Kelly said. “Amir has had a great spring. We’ve seen what we need to see out of him.”