Notre Dame running back Chris Tyree will miss USC game with turf toe injury

Tyler James
ND Insider

SOUTH BEND — The turf toe injury that knocked Notre Dame running back Chris Tyree out of the Virginia Tech game will keep him sidelined Saturday night against USC (3-3). 

Tyree, a sophomore, wasn’t dressed for the No. 13 Irish (5-1) during pregame warmups in Notre Dame Stadium. 

Tyree averaged just 3.2 yards per carry in the first six games as Notre Dame’s offense struggled to find traction on the ground. His 35 carries for 112 yards and one touchdown netted 55 fewer yards than freshman quarterback Tyler Buchner. 

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Tyree also tallied 13 catches for 117 yards and one touchdown and returned eight kickoffs for 238 yards including a 96-yard touchdown against Wisconsin. 

Notre Dame’s Chris Tyree (25) runs after making a catch during the Notre Dame vs. Purdue NCAA football game Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021 at Notre Dame Stadium in South Bend.

Freshman Logan Diggs, who rushed six times for 29 yards and caught one pass for 15 yards in his career debut at Virginia Tech, and senior C’Bo Flemister figure to see more action behind starting running back Kyren Williams. Flemister, who totaled 461 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns in his first three seasons with the Irish, hasn’t recorded a carry this season. He was unavailable for the first four games of the season and didn’t make the travel roster for the Virginia Tech game. 

Freshman running back Audric Estime has played in five games on special teams, but he hasn’t contributed on offense yet this season. 

Prior to the game, Notre Dame announced three contributors wouldn’t be available: junior offensive lineman Zeke Correll, sophomore defensive end Alexander Ehrensberger and graduate senior linebacker Adam Shibley. 

Correll started each of the first six games for Notre Dame at left guard, but head coach Brian Kelly said earlier in the week that fellow junior Andrew Kristofic would replace Correll in the starting lineup. Kristofic, who rotated with Correll in recent games, replaced Correll in the first half against Virginia Tech and finished the game. 

Notre Dame’s Zeke Correll (52) during Notre Dame’s 32-29 win over Virginia Tech in an NCAA college football game on Saturday, Oct. 9, 2021, in Blacksburg, Va.

Notre Dame will start the combination of freshman left tackle Joe Alt, who made his first career start at Virginia Tech, and Kristofic on the left side for the first time. The Irish will try their fifth different starting combination on the left side of the offensive line with four different left tackles (freshman Blake Fisher, sophomore Michael Carmody, sophomore Tosh Baker and Alt). 

Ehrensberger played in all but the Wisconsin game to start the season but has yet to record a tackle. He shared time at defensive end with NaNa Osafo-Mensah behind starter Myron Tagovailoa-Amosa. Ehrensberger played a career-high 13 defensive snaps against Virginia Tech, according to Pro Football Focus.  

Shibley, a walk-on graduate transfer from Michigan, played in the first six games as a special teams contributor. His lone defensive snaps came late in Notre Dame’s 41-13 win over Wisconsin. Shibley recorded three tackles in his appearances. 

Follow ND Insider Tyler James on Twitter: @TJamesNDI.