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Notre Dame cornerback Lo Wood out for season with ruptured Achilles

Cornerback Lo Wood ruptured an Achilles tendpractice Monday. | Notre Dame

Cornerback Lo Wood ruptured an Achilles tendon in practice Monday. | Notre Dame

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Updated: September 23, 2012 6:17AM

Lo Wood hasn’t started a game at Notre Dame. He has 10 tackes and one interception in two seasons.

And he’s the most experienced cornerback on the Irish’s roster.

Now Wood is lost for the season with a ruptured Achilles tendon, further thinning the thinnest spot on Notre Dame’s roster.

Wood, a junior, suffered the injury while backpedaling during practice Monday. He’ll be out four to six months, and coach Brian Kelly said he expects him back in time for spring practice.

‘‘I feel terrible for him,’’ Kelly said. ‘‘He’s a young man we all wanted to see get this opportunity he’s worked so hard for. But I feel really good about the other five corners we have. We’ve got five scholarship corners we believe can play the kind of football we need to be successful.’’

Belief is all Kelly has
because none of his remaining options has had a chance to prove anything yet. Junior Bennett Jackson, a converted receiver, played primarily on special teams last season, as did sophomore Josh Atkin-
son. Sophomore Jalen Brown didn’t play at all. And freshmen Keivarae Russell and Elijah Shumate were recruited as a running back and a safety, respectively,
before being switched to
corner to bolster depth.

As it stands, Jackson is a likely starter, with Russell, Atkinson and Brown battling for the other starting spot.

Kelly said the Irish considered moving safety Jamoris Slaughter to corner, but that is ‘‘really off the table right now, unless we’re devastated with more injuries.’’ Freshman receiver Davonte Neal, who played corner in high school, isn’t being considered, either, Kelly said.

‘‘We think we have enough,’’ he said.

Fortunately for Notre Dame, it opens the season against Navy, which runs a triple-option offense and
averaged only 85.8 yards passing last season. But Kelly knows every other opponent on the schedule is sure to try to take advantage of the Irish’s inexperienced corners.

Still, Kelly insisted the
remaining guys can perform well while learning on the job. He raved about the speed in the group; he just hopes they can learn fast, too.

‘‘All these guys have the athletic ability to play the
position,’’ Kelly said. ‘‘Now it’s about honing their skill. . . . What we’re talking about is very talented players at that position that just need the experience and just need an opportunity.’’

In other news, Kelly said he still hasn’t settled on a starting quarterback for the game against Navy. He said last week there would be some separation in the reps for contenders Everett Golson and Andrew Hendrix beginning Monday, but that hasn’t been the case.

‘‘We had some more things we wanted to see,’’ he said. ‘‘We saw some areas of
improvement we needed [to see], so both of those guys
received very similar reps the last couple of days. We’re still not there yet, but we’re moving in the right direction.’’

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