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Injuries a concern for Notre Dame's Fighting Irish ahead of Midshipmen game

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Lewis-Moore's injury - trouble for a young DL vs Navy
Notre Dame Fighting Irish Senior defensive end Kapron Lewis-Moore will miss the rest of the season with a detached medial collateral ligament, Irish coach Brian Kelly announced at a press conference Tuesday afternoon. 

The injury severely hampers Notre Dame’s defensive front against a Navy team, next Saturday, that manhandled the Irish in the trenches in a 35-17 upset last year.

The Defensive line will now have to operate with almost entirely first-year players against the demanding triple option offense of the Midshipmen.

Senior defensive end Ethan Johnson, who has missed the last two games, will only be healthy enough for a limited amount of snaps. 
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“Kapron and Ethan probably have more experience against the option than anybody here in terms of actually understanding their jobs and what to do, but we’ll call on the next guy,” Kelly said.
The injury occurred in the second half of the USC game last Saturday, and at the time was thought to be that of a high ankle sprain, but Kelly said an MRI showed that the MCL detached from Lewis-Moore’s knee. The senior has one more year of eligibility left and is looking at a 4-6 month recovery period.

The injury could not have come at a worse time for the Fighting Irish defense as stopping Navy’s triple option requires defenders to pay special attention to their assignments. It’s a tall order for any group who is new to that type of attack, especially one that is still learning the pace of the college game....throwing an inexperienced line at this attack cannot be a good thing.

“There’s no question that we have some coaching to do,” Kelly said. “But those are our guys. We’re going to play them, and we’ll get them ready.”

The (4-3) Fighting Irish will lock up with the (2-5) Midshipmen, Saturday in South Bend at 15:30 EST.

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