Prior to the season, I took the stance that this was the year to judge Charlie Weis. All of the remnants of Tyrone Willingham were gone, and Weis's recruits were finally seasoned players in South Bend.
A fellow writer asked me if Weis would get a pass if there were key injuries and the team still had a bad season.
I didn't know how to answer that, though that thought scared me. The amazing thing is that Notre Dame has had some key offensive injuries and they are still among the nation's best.
Imagine how good this unit would be if Michael Floyd hadn't gone down and Armando Allen had been healthy all year.
Even Jimmy Clausen has been bothered by turf toe and missed significant time in the Purdue game.
Dayne Crist did a nice job of managing a run package with some throws that Weis put together. Unfortunately for Crist, he also got injured last weekend and is out for the year. Hopefully, it won't affect him for spring.
Now it is time to focus on Navy. Something amazing could actually happen. Notre Dame could actually be fully loaded on offense. That is, with the exception of Crist.
Floyd is back from injury and will play this week. It will be interesting to see how much he plays. Weis may just put him out there for a few plays to test the collarbone, or he may get significant time. Either way, I think it is good to get him in this week to test that shoulder.
With the showdown against Pittsburgh approaching, it is important to know where the injury is and how much the Irish can depend on Floyd for that game.
Hopefully, he is fully recovered or at least close. At the same time, it will be nice to know how to prepare for the Panthers.
Allen also sat out last week against Washington State. From what I understand, he could of played but Weis chose to rest him.
I would assume that would mean that Allen will be able to go this week. Allen needs to go against Navy. Having a healthy running game is huge against a team that likes to run a triple option.
A running game will counter their attack and possibly alter their game plan with a lead. Now that James Aldridge is also back at fullback, that should help the running game too.
Navy is a tough opponent and, like Notre Dame, is bowl eligible already. Having said that, the return of Michael Floyd will provide a spark that will be heard all over South Bend. It could be a big day for the fully loaded Irish offense.