Brian Kelly said RB Josh Adams is back and ready to roll for Notre Dame

Eric Hansen
South Bend Tribune

SOUTH BEND — At the height of his swelling Heisman Trophy attention, Notre Dame junior running back Josh Adams had to push the pause button this past Saturday.

Irish head coach Brian Kelly said on Sunday he doesn’t expect a repeat Saturday night for AP No. 3 Notre Dame’s Saturday night showdown with AP No. 7 Miami (8-0) at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Fla.

“He felt great today,” Kelly said of the nation’s ninth-leading rusher (132.3) and third in yards per carry (8.7). “He'll continue to practice and be ready for Miami.”

Kelly said Saturday night that Adams was limited to 22 yards on seven carries for the Irish (8-1) in a 48-37 Irish home win over Wake Forest because he had gotten run down in the days leading up to the game, in part due to a high academic demand.

It was widely reported Saturday, including repeatedly by ESPN, that Adams had suffered a head injury against the Demon Deacons and was in Notre Dame’s concussion protocol.

“He was never — I repeat — never in the concussion protocol,” Kelly said Sunday.

Even in limited action Adams managed to move into ND’s top 10 single-season rushing list. He’s now ninth with 1,191 yards after leapfrogging his position coach, Autry Denson’s, 1996 and ’98 seasons. Adams is one yard away from Vagas Ferguson’s 1978 season for eighth place and five behind Darius Walker’s 2005 season for seventh.

Ahead of Adams, from a competition standpoint, is the No. 67 rush defense (Miami), No. 61 (Navy) and No. 82 (Stanford), as the #33Trucking campaign restarts.

Not that it was a priority Saturday.

“It's health over all those things,” Kelly said. “When somebody doesn't feel quite right, whether it's concussion or otherwise, we're going to make sure we do the right thing for the student-athlete first.

“Our medical staff will make those decisions. The head coach and assistant coaches are out of that decision-making process.”

Personnel matters

Kelly said on Sunday that the left (non-throwing) hand quarterback Brandon Wimbush injured Saturday against Wake Forest was still bruised, but likely to limit his activity.

“Checked in today. Ice pack on it. He's good to go,” Kelly said.

• Junior tight end Alizé Mack missed Saturday’s game, a week after suffering a concussion. but Kelly expects him back at practice on Tuesday.

• Sophomore defensive lineman Khalid Kareem suffered a hyperextended knee Saturday night, per Kelly, but isn’t expected to be limited in practice this week.

• Junior Dexter Williams continues to struggle with injuries. Saturday night, it was a thigh contusion that limited him to three carries (for 32 yards).

“It's an old injury that has been one that has popped up here and there,” Kelly said. “As you saw in his long run (32 yards), it affected him.

“It's a day-to-day thing. We'll just have to see how he responds on Tuesday.”

Notre Dame junior Josh Adams (33) was limited to five carries in ND's 48-37 win over Wake Forest, Saturday at Notre Dame Stadium. (Tribune Photo/ROBERT FRANKLIN)