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Senior RB Jonas Gray could be done for season

Updated: December 21, 2011 9:46AM

SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Senior running back Jonas Gray left Saturday’s game with what appeared to be a season-ending knee injury, but Irish coach Brian Kelly said he couldn’t confirm reports that Gray had torn his ACL until he undergoes an MRI on Sunday.

Gray scored his 12th touchdown on a 26-yard run in the first quarter, tying him for ninth on the school’s all-time list for one season. After the game, he told teammates how much he treasured playing for Notre Dame.

“He’s a guy that’s always going to keep moving forward to keep looking out for everybody, no matter what, so when something like this happens to him, he’ll try to make something positive out of it and help the team,” safety Harrison Smith said.

Gray was injured after catching a screen pass from quarterback Tommy Rees in the left flat for a three-yard gain early in the third quarter. He had 62 yards on 11 carries.

Kelly said freshmen George Atkinson III and Cam McDaniel would back up Cierre Wood against Stanford next week if Gray is unable to play.

Bug in system

Freshman defensive end Stephon Tuitt did not play because of illness. Offensive lineman Zack Martin, cornerback Robert Blanton and several other players also were ill during the week, Kelly said. Smith visited the campus infirmary Friday night, according to Kelly.

“We had a lot of guys sick,” linebacker Manti Te’o said. “Everybody knew the significance of this game, especially for the seniors, so everybody got after it as best they could.”

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