Notre Dame Football: Austin Collinsworth May Miss Season, What It Means to Irish
Collinsworth recently underwent shoulder surgery to repair a torn labrum in his left shoulder. Entering 2012, Collinsworth was expected to back up both Zeke Motta and Jamoris Slaughter in the back end.
As far as his recovery goes, this is pretty standard. Provided there are no complications, the rising junior with plenty of special teams experience (he was their special teams player of the year in 2011) has a shot to play in 2012.
The timetable is a four to six-month recovery period; that puts him into the second month of the season before he is ready to play.
How Much Does the Injury to Austin Collinsworth Hurt Notre Dame?
If the Irish need him, Collinsworth might be able to give it a go for them. However, if Brian Kelly's team can steal an entire season without Collinsworth, that would be a benefit to all parties involved.
It would keep Collinsworth from only playing for a half season and burning a year of his eligibility, and it would help the squad be better prepared for the departure of both Motta and Slaughter after 2012.
If Collinsworth does not play, that means Chris Salvi, Dan McCarthy and Mathias Farley will have to step up for the Fighting Irish. Salvi and McCarthy have experience on their side and have contributed plenty in reserve duties and on special teams for the Irish. Farley is a talented sophomore who could flourish if pressed into action this year.
Losing Collinsworth is a blow to the Fighting Irish, but much farther down on the Richter Scale from events like Aaron Lynch leaving the program.
The Irish can and will survive without the rising junior. The issue for Notre Dame on the defensive side of the ball remains the same as prior to Collinsworth's surgery—figuring out who is going to play cornerback for them in 2012.
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