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Notre Dame

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Irish linebacker out this week

– Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly said Tuesday that linebacker Ishaq Williams will not play against Navy on Saturday.

The junior made his first start of the year in last Saturday’s 45-10 win over Air Force but left in the first quarter with a knee injury.

The injury concerns do not end with Williams as the Irish (6-2) prepare for Navy (4-3).

Starting nose guard Louis Nix III remains questionable after missing the win against Air Force because of knee tendinitis. Kelly said the senior’s performance in practice will determine if he can play against Navy, adding Nix would likely be able to play with the injury against a non-option team.

“I think you can’t go into playing the option team with hesitation or doubt,” Kelly said. “But when you’re playing Stanford and you’re firing off the ball and it’s just a matter of beating the guy over you, there’s less hesitation.

“There’s a little bit more hesitation in there when you are playing an option team. And we can’t have that from our inside guy.”

A pair of starting linemen remained probable to play after suffering injuries against Air Force. Left guard Chris Watt suffered a knee injury, and defensive end Sheldon Day re-injured his ankle last weekend.

“Watt looked good (Tuesday), we’re going to move him around,” Kelly said. “Day is probable. We’ve got an MRI on that ankle. We wanted to rule out any further high ankle damage to the ligaments, and it was a bone bruise. So it was totally different. So we feel pretty good about that. He’ll practice (Tuesday).”

Receiver DaVaris Daniels, who had a hip flexor injury against Air Force; safety Elijah Shumate, who missed the last two games with a hamstring injury; and right tackle Ronnie Stanley, who missed time against Air Force with an injury, were also expected to be able to practice Tuesday, Kelly said.

“What (Shumate’s) role will be (against Navy), we’ll determine that as we work our way through the week,” Kelly said. “We don’t think there’s anything there that would hold (Daniels) back.”

Stanley may have had a difficult practice Tuesday after posting a message about his injury on Twitter.

“I heard he had a tweet about being at Saint Liam’s or something. He gets what we call the Zaire treatment today,” Kelly said, referring to how he handled freshman quarterback Malik Zaire tweeting he was cleared to play in Week 4 before the coach or university made an official announcement.

Defensive lineman Chase Hounshell, who hasn’t played this season after suffering a right shoulder injury in spring camp, returned to practice, but Kelly said the junior will likely not play this year.

tkrausz@jg.net

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