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S Nicky Baratti May Be Lost for 2013

The sophomore safety from Texas has re-injured his shoulder and may not play this season.

Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

According to several reports, including this one from Irish Illustrated, sophomore safety Nicky Baratti has suffered a shoulder injury and may be lost for the 2013 season.

As mentioned by Rivals it appears to be the same shoulder that Baratti recently had surgery on which kept him out of spring practice earlier this year. Head coach Brian Kelly should update Baratti's status after practice this afternoon and if it is indeed the same shoulder you can likely count the sophomore out for the season.

Baratti was a versatile athlete in high school and quickly made the transition to safety last season in South Bend. As a true freshman he saw limited snaps but famously intercepted the halfback pass at the goal line against Michigan early in the season. After missing spring ball Baratti was running on the second team this fall with Austin Collinsworth but may have challenged fellow sophomore Elijah Shumate for some starting minutes.

If he is done for the season it is a tough pill to swallow for Baratti but the Irish appear in good position to overcome his injury. Moreover, from a roster perspective this may be a blessing in disguise to be able to stagger Baratti and Shumate's eligibility after both played as true freshman in 2012.

This upcoming fall the Baratti injury will open the door to more playing time for 5-star freshman Max Redfield and rising junior Eilar Hardy. If Redfield was being prepped as a nickel corner the news about Baratti may move the freshman back to more of a full-time role at safety while defensive coordinator could rely on KeiVarae Russell, Lo Wood, or even Jaylon Smith as the team's nickel corner.