Notre Dame without backup nose guard Howard Cross III for Stanford game

Tyler James
ND Insider
Notre Dame's Howard Cross III (56) holds off Purdue's Jared Bycznski (79) during the Notre Dame vs. Purdue NCAA football game Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021 at Notre Dame Stadium in South Bend.

PALO ALTO, Calif. — Notre Dame's defensive line depth will be a bit thinner Saturday night in Stanford Stadium. The Irish announced backup nose guard Howard Cross III will be unavailable for the AP No. 5 Irish (10-1) in their regular season finale (8 p.m. EST on FOX) at Stanford (3-8).

Without the 6-foot, 275-pound Cross, fellow junior Jacob Lacey (6-1, 275) will rotate behind starter Kurt Hinish. Cross played in 10 games and started twice for the Irish season. He totaled 20 tackles, 4.5 tackles for a loss and 3 sacks in his appearances. Cross recorded at least two tackles in each of the last four games.

Lacey tallied 10 tackles and two tackles for a loss in nine games. The starter, Hinish, racked up 24 tackles, 4.5 tackles for a loss and 2 sacks in nine games.

The Irish have managed to stay relatively healthy in recent weeks with the exception of a flu bug that's circulated through the team. Notre Dame did not disclose why Cross would be sidelined Saturday.

Notre Dame will still be without All-American safety Kyle Hamilton, who has been out with a knee injury since the first half of the USC game on Oct. 23.

Follow ND Insider Tyler James on Twitter: @TJamesNDI.