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Jarron Jones suffers "significant" knee injury

The dark cloud of defensive injuries continues to hover over South Bend

Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

In some really disheartening news, multiple outlets are reporting starting defensive tackle Jarron Jones suffered a "significant" knee injury in fall practice on Friday. Comcast Chicago first reported that the injury will require surgery, and those reports have been sadly confirmed by ESPN's Matt Fortuna and others.

Jones was in the process of returning to full strength from a Lisfranc injury he suffered against Louisville last November. The redshirt junior had also been praised as a vocal leader for the defense throughout the fall, and early reports are not optimistic that he'll return to the field this year.

While there is far more depth on the defensive line than last fall, it's literally a huge loss for the Irish defense, as the team loses arguably its best run stopper as well as a monster blocking kicks on special teams. Next men in that could be in line for much bigger roles this season include Jerry Tillery, Jay Hayes, and Daniel Cage. Isaac Rochell could also see more work lined up inside at DT depending on the opponent and how the staff decides to address the loss.

UPDATE: Brian Kelly has confirmed Jones has a third-degree MCL injury and will miss the entire season after surgery.