No. 12 Notre Dame will be without its leading receiver for the rest of the season.
Irish head coach Marcus Freeman announced Monday that tight end Mitchell Evans suffered a torn ACL in his team’s win over Pittsburgh on Saturday. As a result, Evans will be out for the remainder of the year.
It’s a big blow for Notre Dame. Evans leads the team in both receptions (29) and receiving yards (422).
Evans, a 6-foot-5, 260-pound junior, became Notre Dame’s top tight end after Michael Mayer left for the NFL and quickly emerged as a top target for transfer quarterback Sam Hartman. In Week 3, Evans caught seven passes for 75 yards in the loss to Ohio State. He then followed that up with six catches for 134 yards in the win over Duke.
Evans had five catches for 66 yards in the 58-7 win over Pitt before the injury occurred in the second half.
With Evans out, sophomore Holden Staes will likely become the No. 1 tight end for the Irish moving forward. Staes has 12 catches for 163 yards and four touchdowns on the season.
Notre Dame could also use more production from its wide receivers. Chris Tyree, a converted running back, is second on the team behind Evans with 19 catches for 417 yards. Tyree and Jayden Thomas (17 catches, 251 yards, TD) are the veterans of the group.
The three other receivers who have received major playing time — Rico Flores, Tobias Merriweather and Jaden Greathouse — are all underclassmen. Merriweather is a sophomore while Flores and Greathouse are both true freshmen.
Flores has 17 catches for 250 yards on the year while Merriweather has 10 catches for 214 yards. Greathouse has 12 catches for 166 yards but is tied for second on the team with three touchdowns.
Now 7-2 on the year, the Irish will return to action Saturday at Clemson before rounding out the regular season with a home game versus Wake Forest and a road trip to Stanford.