Irish Illustrated has reported that Cole Kmet, the number one tight end for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish in 2019, has broken his collarbone during fall camp practice at Culver on Thursday.
The injury stems from a play that had Alohi Gilman falling down on top of Kmet during live action. Kmet left practice on a cart, and Gilman was also banged up from the same play.
Assuming that Gilman just got a little dinged up — this is still huge news as Kmet was considered to be a big focal point for the Irish offense. A broken collarbone usually takes about 6-8 weeks to heal, which puts the “recovery time” around the game against the USC Trojans. A more likely scenario probably has Kmet missing that game as the Irish head into a bye week before their trip up to Ann Arbor to take on the Michigan Wolverines.
The Notre Dame staff has been very pleased with the progress of Brock Wright from the spring and up till now, and he likely figures to be TE1 moving forward. That also puts redshirt freshman Tommy Tremble one slot up on the depth chart — as well as George Takacs.
Notre Dame has recruited well at tight end over the years, so depth isn’t really a concern here, but Kmet (as we said) was expected to have one of those break-out years for Notre Dame. It’s one less weapon the Irish will have when they travel down to Athens to take on the Georgia Bulldogs, and it takes away a nice target with experience from Ian Book.
This is the third major injury the Irish have been dealt with at fall camp so far, with Kmet’s being the worst of it in terms of value to the 2019 team. Hopefully they can plug and play as it becomes next man up.