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September 20, 2009A week ago Notre Dame lost Michael Floyd for a series.
Yesterday the Irish went without their star receiver for a half.
Now Notre Dame may be forced to absorb Floyd's absence for a season after the sophomore sustained a broken left collarbone while attempting to make a touchdown catch late in the second quarter against Michigan State. Floyd underwent surgery on Sunday morning.
"I would anticipate, even though I don't know duration, I would anticipate him missing the rest of the regular season and being available for the bowl game if we chose to go in that direction," said head coach Charlie Weis. "If he were available, we'll talk about that down the line."
Despite missing the rest of Notre Dame's 33-30 comeback victory, Floyd still leads the Irish with 358 receiving yards on his 13 catches. His five receiving touchdowns also lead the team.
The Irish went without Floyd last season too, but the results were disastrous following the receiver's knee injury suffered in the first quarter against Navy. Floyd missed the next two games, losses to Syracuse and USC. The Irish didn't manage a first down against the Trojans until the final play of the third quarter.
Last week against Michigan, Floyd cut his knee on a synthetic surface surrounding the field inside Michigan Stadium. He missed Notre Dame's final two drives.
Notre Dame has more natural talent at the receiver position this year, even minus captain David Grimes. However, Weis can take some comfort from the performances of Robby Parris and Duval Kamara. That duo had combined for two catches in the first two games. Yesterday they contributed three each, including a five-yard touchdown reception by Parris.
"You never can really replace Michael Floyd, a guy that's that caliber of a player," Weis said. "He's an A-flight player, but what you have to do, you have to put other people in position to pick up some of the responsibility. Having some veterans in there in that mix certainly makes it a little bit easier to do that."
Freshman Shaquelle Evans should be called on moving forward too, despite the fact he barely played against Michigan State. Weis said the Irish had an offensive set that included Evans for Saturday, but because Michigan State never gave Notre Dame the right defensive look to use it, the freshman turned into a non-factor.
"You can anticipate seeing him a heck of a lot," Weis said.
Floyd's injury occurred early enough in the season that he will be eligible for a medical red shirt, although that means he would not be able to play in the bowl game. However, it's hard to imagine a player of Floyd's talent sticking around South Bend that long.