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Irish getting ready for end of spring drills

SOUTH BEND – Notre Dame will close spring practice Saturday with its Blue-Gold game.

But some players' spring will end the Friday before the annual game because of injuries.

Irish coach Brian Kelly said Wednesday that linebacker Dan Fox, safety Nicky Baratti, cornerback Bennett Jackson, defensive lineman Chase Hounshell, running back Amir Carlisle, receiver Corey Robinson and walk-on running back Tyler Plantz will not play Saturday because of injuries.

"We've got a few guys that won't compete, nothing serious," Kelly said.

Fox, Baratti, Jackson and Hounshell are all recovering from shoulder injuries, with Hounshell out for the season after re-injuring his during spring drills.

Carlisle, who underwent surgery for a broken collarbone this spring, has been able to participate in non-contact drills, but Kelly said the junior is not ready to compete in a game situation.

"He is looking really good," Kelly said. "He's gotten a lot of work over the last couple of days. He's done a really good job, but he will not compete."

Kelly said Robinson, an early enrollee, has a hyperextended elbow, and though Robinson did practice Wednesday, he will not play in the Blue-Gold game.

Kelly did say that cornerback Lo Wood and receivers Chris Brown and DaVaris Daniels – who all dealt with injuries during the spring – are expected to play Saturday.

The Blue-Gold game will be offense versus defense, with a similar format to last year's game.

"I know it's the thrilling scoring system that you all wait for," Kelly said. "We just don't have the numbers.

"Hopefully, I'm standing next year at this time with a full stock of offensive linemen and DBs and wide receivers. That is really holding us back from splitting the squads up into a true Blue-Gold scrimmage."

There is one change. Kelly said the defense will wear blue this year and the offense will wear white. The Irish will also not go live with their special teams, but they will punt in the scrimmage.

Notre Dame will likely use a normal clock in the first half with a running clock in the second, Kelly said.

"We will have everybody on the same sideline and really try to create a game-day atmosphere, especially for a lot of the young guys," Kelly said.

"I want them to go through pregame. I want them to go through the tunnel. I want them to get into a game-like atmosphere."

The Journal Gazette's Assistant Sports Editor Tony Krausz covers The University of Notre Dame. Krausz, a graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism and a native of St. Louis, has been assistant sports editor since October 2005. Prior to joining the JG, he worked at two papers in Mississippi covering high school and college athletics.