With the start of spring practice nearly a month away, Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly should have a number of injured players at or near full health by the time practice commences March 3. But Kelly said two players that suffered season-ending knee injuries, linebacker Ben Councell and center Nick Martin, are ahead of schedule in their recoveries. “If they walked through here right now you would not know they had surgery,” Kelly said. “They are well ahead of schedule, so we are very pleased there.” Councell tore his ACL against Navy on Nov. 2 while Martin suffered a torn MCL against BYU on Nov. 23. Defensive end Chase Hounshell, who has had two shoulder surgeries in his career at Notre Dame, is expected to be ready for full contact and could have practiced late last season, Kelly said. Offensive lineman Conor Hanratty was cleared to play after suffering a head injury in Notre Dame’s Pinstripe Bowl victory over Rutgers on Dec. 28. Safety Nick Baratti (shoulder) will likely be limited for spring practice, though Kelly said if circumstances line up right, Baratti could face full contact. Linebacker Doug Randolph, who also had a shoulder injury, is cleared for full contact.
Irish getting healthier as spring approaches
Chicago Tribune | Feb 1