The injury bug has made its visit to South Bend and has left a lasting impact on Notre Dame's season. After having numerous players drop like flies over the last few weeks, linebacker Ben Councell is out for the remainder of the year due to a serious knee injury, according to Matt Fortuna of ESPN.
The junior defender suffered the injury during Saturday's 38-34 victory over Navy.
He was one of the leaders on the defense and was 15th on the team with 15 tackles. He also had one tackle for loss, one broken-up pass and a forced fumble. While his statistics aren't spectacular, Councell did provide valuable depth at outside linebacker behind talented true freshman Jaylon Smith.
Smith has played extremely well as of late, but this injury doesn't help given that Ishaq Williams is also nursing a knee injury. The junior outside linebacker missed the game against Navy after getting hurt in the game against Air Force.
How does Ben Councell's injury impact the Irish?
That's two injuries to solid contributors in the second level of the defense.
If that wasn't enough, defensive lineman Kona Schwenke is expected to miss this week's game against Pittsburgh due to an ankle injury. Defensive lineman Sheldon Day is also dealing with an ankle injury and will be questionable for the matchup against the Panthers.
Safety Austin Collinsworth has a neck injury, left guard Chris Watt has a PCL tear and nose guard Louis Nix has been suffering from a knee injury that has forced him to miss the last two games.
If there is any good news out of all of this, Elijah Shumate, who has missed the last three games with a hamstring issue, is expected to return this week, according to Fortuna's report.