Tight end Michael Mayer's hip injury keeps him out of Notre Dame's starting lineup

Tyler James
ND Insider
Notre Dame’s Michael Mayer (87) tries to get past Cincinnati's Ja'von Hicks (3) during the Notre Dame vs. Cincinnati NCAA football game Saturday, Oct. 2, 2021 at Notre Dame Stadium in South Bend.

BLACKSBURG, Va. — The hip adductor strain that visibly slowed Notre Dame tight end Michael Mayer at the end of the Cincinnati game appears to have limited his playing time against Virginia Tech (3-1). 

Mayer, who led the Irish passing attack through the first five games with 32 catches for 360 yards and three touchdowns, did not start for the No. 14 Irish (4-1). Junior George Takacs started in the absence of Mayer, a sophomore. 

Mayer was the only tight end on Notre Dame’s roster to catch a pass in the first five games. Takacs totaled five receptions for 42 yards and one touchdown in his first two seasons with the Irish. 

At the constantly changing left tackle position, freshman Joe Alt made his first career start against Virginia Tech. Sophomore Michael Carmody, who has bothered by an ankle injury since the Toledo game, was dressed and appeared available to play based on warmups. 

The 6-8, 305-pound Alt is son of John Alt, a former college offensive lineman at Iowa and NFL offensive lineman for the Kansas City Chiefs. 247Sports slated Alt as a four-star recruit and the No. 20 offensive tackle in the 2021 class out of Fridley (Minn.) Totino-Grace. Rivals rated him as a three-star recruit. 

Virginia Tech defensive end Amaré Barno beat Alt for a sack of Coan to end Notre Dame’s first drive. 

Freshman Blake Fisher started at left tackle in the season opener against Florida State before being knocked out of the game with a knee injury that may cost him the entire season. Carmody started twice against Toledo and Cincinnati. Fellow sophomore Tosh Baker started against Purdue and Wisconsin. 

The only player Notre Dame announced as unavailable from its depth chart against Virginia Tech was senior wide receiver Joe Wilkins Jr., who was diagnosed with a torn MCL in his knee earlier this week and will be out for the rest of the season. 

Follow ND Insider Tyler James on Twitter: @TJamesNDI.