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Kelly optimistic for injury relief

Notre Dame won without four frontline players yesterday. Irish head coach Brian Kelly isn’t sure if James Onwualu will return this season but expects C.J. Prosise, Daniel Cage and Nic Weishar back.

<p>Next weekend shouldn&rsquo;t require so many Next Men In.</p>

<p>Notre Dame knocked off Wake Forest on Saturday down starting running back C.J. Prosise, starting defensive tackle Daniel Cage, and regular tight end Nic Weishar (all three lost to concussions). Starting linebacker James Onwualu went down in the first half with a MCL injury and hobbled off the field on crutches with a immobilizing cast on his left leg.</p>

<p>&ldquo;Probable on all of the concussion guys,&rdquo; said Kelly of Prosise, Cage, and Weishar of their status this week&rsquo;s matchup with Boston College. &ldquo;We don&rsquo;t have anybody else that showed any injuries that would put them in any (jeopardy) for the game. Amir (Carlisle) has a slight ankle sprain.&rdquo;</p>

<p>Notre Dame will welcome back its leading rusher Prosise in Fenway Park next Saturday night against an Eagles squad that boasts the nation&rsquo;s top rushing defense in yardage per game (71.7), yards per carry (2.12) and rushing touchdowns allowed (5). </p>

<p>Freshman backup running back Josh Adams stuffed the stat sheet in Prosise&rsquo;s stead, finishing with 17 carries for 141 yards, buoyed by that 98-yard touchdown run, the longest play in Notre Dame history. But strike that record breaker and the freshman averaged 2.7 yards per carry.</p>

<p>&ldquo;Clearly they game planned a lot of their stuff for us, specifically with that week off,&rdquo; said Kelly of the Demon Deacons shifting fronts. &ldquo;They were totally different in the way they defended our run game.&rdquo;</p>

<p>Conversely, the Irish defense adapted well to the loss of Cage by shifting Isaac Rochell into defensive tackle while Romeo Okwara and Andrew Trumbetti both started at end. That pair combined for three sacks, one forced fumble and an interception return for a touchdown. Rochell led the line with six tackles.</p>

<p>Greer Martini filled in for Onwualu in an even swap of Sam linebackers. Martini finished with four tackles.</p>

<p>&ldquo;Onwualu will be out (against Boston College), he has a second-degree MCL (sprained knee),&rdquo; said Kelly who added that Onwualu would not need surgery. </p>

<p>The Irish were also without reserve receiver Equanimeous St. Brown against Wake Forest. The freshman is lost for at least six weeks due to a Grade 3 shoulder sprain that will require surgery.</p> Top Stories