An offensive line being trumpeted as the nation’s best by many observers will have the quality of its depth tested this week.
First reported by Irish Illustrated Sunday morning, Notre Dame starting right guard Tommy Kraemer will join injured center Jarrett Patterson on the sidelines after Kraemer reportedly underwent an emergency appendectomy on Friday night.
The No. 2 Irish (8-0, 7-0 ACC), after an open date Saturday, face North Carolina (6-2, 6-2 ACC) Friday in Chapel Hill, N.C. Kick time is 3:30 p.m. EST on ABC.
Kraemer is a grad senior and fourth-year starter, moving inside to guard in 2018 after playing right tackle his sophomore season on the 2017 Joe Moore Award-winning Irish offensive line. The 6-foot-6, 317-pounder missed the final six games of the 2019 season with a knee injury suffered in a 45-14 loss at Michigan.
Versatile senior Josh Lugg is the leading candidate to replace Kraemer. The 6-7, 310-pounder filled in for an injured Robert Hainsey at right tackle for the final five games of last season. He has seen action in a reserve role in six of ND’s eight games this season.
Zeke Correll, a 6-3, 295-pound sophomore, is expected to step in for Patterson — out for the season after suffering a foot injury in ND’s 45-31 victory at Boston College on Nov. 14.