Ankle injury sidelines Notre Dame quarterback Tyler Buchner for Blue-Gold Game

Mike Berardino
ND Insider
Notre Dame's Tyler Buchner during Notre Dame’s spring football practice on Thursday, March 17, 2022, inside the Irish Athletic Complex in South Bend.

SOUTH BEND — Notre Dame’s two-man quarterback battle has been short-circuited ahead of Saturday’s Blue-Gold Game.

Sophomore Tyler Buchner wore a protective brace on his right ankle as he walked gingerly into the Irish Athletic Center on Wednesday morning for the spring game draft. Buchner rolled his ankle as he walked down the stairs late Tuesday afternoon at the Guglielmino Athletics Complex. 

“Missed the bottom step,” Irish coach Marcus Freeman said. “It happened at 5 in the evening. He left the quarterbacks’ meeting, and it happened in the next 30 minutes. Unfortunate accident, so he’ll be out for the spring game.” 

Notre Dame quarterback Tyler Buchner enters the Blue-Gold Draft wearing an ankle brace on Wednesday April 20, 2022

Redshirt sophomore Drew Pyne will take snaps with both squads on Saturday. Freshman Steve Angeli will play for the Gold team while Ron Powlus III will play for the Blue. 

“(Buchner) got 13 really, really good practices in,” Freeman said. “I’m pleased with that part of it.” 

Buchner, the presumed frontrunner heading into the spring, will miss Thursday’s final tune-up as well. 

►Tyler Buchner:Berardino: Notre Dame quarterback wants to showcase his full range of talents

Even before this week’s setback, it seemed likely that Freeman would hold off on naming a starter until August. Shopping for an experienced backup in the transfer portal remains a possibility, but there was no indication Wednesday that Buchner’s injury was anything serious. 

“I’ve seen a lot from both quarterbacks since I’ve been here my 2 ½ years,” tight end Michael Mayer said on April 14. “Both great quarterbacks. I have trust in both of them. They’re both ballers and they’ve been battling this spring.”

Whichever quarterback takes the field first on Sept. 3 at Ohio State will be making his first career start. 

Buchner appeared in 10 games last fall and completed 21 of 35 passes for 298 yards and three touchdowns. He also threw three interceptions and rushed 46 times for 336 yards (7.3 yard average) and three touchdowns.

Staff writer Mike Berardino covers Notre Dame football for the South Bend Tribune and NDInsider.com. Email him at mberardino@gannett.com and follow him on Twitter @MikeBerardino.