Blue and Gold Illustrated

Oct. 23, 2017

Blue & Gold Illustrated: America's Foremost Authority on Notre Dame Football

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Page 8 of 55 OCT. 23, 2017 9 UNDER THE DOME During the week of preparation for the North Carolina game Oct. 7, junior quarterback Brandon Wimbush's status to play was mostly uncertain while he was healing from a right foot injury incurred versus Miami (Ohio). MRI and X-rays taken of Wimbush showed neither structural nor ligament damage, but a Grade 1 strain. "He experienced some foot soreness after the [Miami (Ohio)] game, so we put him in a walking boot, which is fairly typical relative to procedures," head coach Brian Kelly said. Rumors abounded that Wimbush's injury occurred in an off-campus inci- dent. When asked directly if it was possible that Wimbush was injured in a non-football activity, Kelly stood by his player. "I trust what Brandon tells me," Kelly said. "I have no reason not to trust 100 percent what Brandon tells me. "He went out and felt his foot was not right, and he went home." When the injury transpired couldn't be pinpointed, but that's why players are required to check in for a noon medical evaluation the Sunday after a game. "We get a lot of soft tissue injuries that don't show themselves right after the game and will show themselves later," Kelly said. "He actually started feeling it that evening … was out and then went home because he felt the foot starting to flare up on him." Wimbush began doing light workouts by Tuesday during North Carolina week and was "in a good place" by Thursday, but Kelly said decisions on a player's status involve more than just the medical aspect. "This has got to be he's got to feel comfortable and he's got to feel 100 percent like he can put his foot in the ground and do the things that he can do," he said. Because backup sophomore quarterback Ian Book receives 40 percent of the first-team practice reps while Wimbush get 60 percent, per Kelly, the Irish head coach was confident Book would be prepared whenever needed. "This is not an NFL operation where the starting quarterback gets all the work," Kelly said. "Ian's gotten quite a bit of work leading up to this point." Regardless, Kelly reaffirmed Wimbush is the 2017 starter. "All I've told him is that we're with you," Kelly said. "I was a pretty bad coach last year, and people stuck with me, and I'm sticking with you. "We're in this together. We're going to see this through." — Lou Somogyi COZY UP WITH NEW THIS FALL IRISH GEAR shop sweatshirts Brandon Wimbush Healing From Grade 1 Foot Strain Wimbush suffered his injury during the 52-17 win over Miami (Ohio) Sept. 30, but fortunately MRI and X-rays taken of his right foot showed neither structural nor ligament damage. PHOTO BY BILL PANZICA

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