After a few weeks full of bad injury updates--the Irish will head into Saturday's game with some good news. All the guys expected to play at Pitt will.
The biggest name returning to the lineup is nose guard Louis Nix who missed the last two games with knee tendinitis.
"He will play and its not hypothetical," Brian Kelly declared Thursday. "He had a good week of practice, Everyone feels he's going to be good to go."
The news comes at the right time for the Irish senior.
"He was antsy last week," Kelly said of Nix having to sit out a 2nd straight game. "I think the first week he was OK. He needs to be around the team. He's a guy who obviously football is so important to him. He's close to finishing his degree so a lot of his focus is being with his teammates and being around football. I think the first week was kind of like 'hey this is some time off.' The 2nd week he was around and was on the sideline this past weekend and into the ball game. If you ask him, he's back to where he likes to be."
Fellow defensive lineman Sheldon Day will play Saturday too according to Kelly and should be fine as long as someone doesn't land right on his ankle--Kelly said. Day has re-aggravated his ankle injury nearly every week.
Irish safeties Austin Collinsworth and Elijah Shumate will both play as well. Collinsworth has been bothered by a neck strain. He participated in non-contact drills on Wednesday and was fully cleared on Thursday. Shumate had no setbacks as he returns from a hamstring injury.
On the offensive side of the ball, Kelly was very happy about the status of offensive lineman Chris Watt, who is battling back from a PCL tear.
Kelly knocked wood before saying, "We're pleasantly surprised with Chris Watt."
Kelly says Watt took all the first team reps on Thursday and will play Saturday.
Earlier in the week, Kelly declared linebacker Ishaq Williams and Kona Schwenke out for this week. Williams is in week two of working back to get on the field from an ACL injury. He'll do cardio next week and Kelly still feels he's on track to return for the BYU game, which comes after a bye week next week.
Schwenke injured his ankle against Navy and will be in a cast for 10 days. He could be back for the BYU game.
"When we take that cast off, we will know where we are with him," Kelly said.
Notre Dame and Pitt will kickoff at 8pm Saturday night in Pittburgh.