NOTRE DAME, Ind. - For the second time in the past three days, injuries were the dominant topic of conversation for Brian Kelly. The Notre Dame football head coach announced on Tuesday that outside linebacker Ben Councell has a torn ACL and will have surgery as soon as the trauma to the knee subsides. Kelly had already announced on Sunday that Councell is done for the year after suffering the injury in Saturday's win over Navy.
The best news the Irish have heading into this weekend's game at Pittsburgh is the possible return of Louis Nix to action. The nose guard has missed the last two games due to a knee injury.
"We're hopeful about Louis being able to play a role this weekend," said Kelly. "He'll practice today."
Nix is listed at No. 1 on this week's depth chart at nose guard. His return is crucial after his backup, Kona Schwenke, left the Navy game with a knee injury. Schwenke will not play this weekend. Nix missed both the Air Force and Navy games due to severe tendonitis in his knee as well as a meniscus tear that is of lesser concern.
"The tendonitis that he has will require the similar surgery that Greg Bryant had," Kelly said. "This is something that is chronic and will require attention at some time. After the USC game he was in real, real pain and it was a real situation for him."
Kelly says Nix has worked to keep his conditioning up with 7 am workouts over the last two weeks while he has been out of action. He does not expect Nix to be able to work his full volume of reps on Saturday, but does not expect a drastic drop either as long as Nix gets through practice this week.