Senior cornerback Devin Butler, junior running back Justin Brent and junior cornerback Nick Watkins are among Irish injured during recent football activities, with Butler’s injury expected to sideline him until late September.
Coach Brian Kelly revealed Monday that Butler sustained a second fracture to his left foot. After starting in place of the injured KeiVarae Russell, Butler missed the Fiesta Bowl after breaking the long bone on the outside of his foot that connects to his little toe.
Kelly said Butler has had “a great semester academically. We really see him trending in the right way. And then to have an injury like that was very disappointing for him. And we’re disappointed for him.”
The 6-foot-1/2, 200 pound senior was expected to compete for an open position opposite fellow senior cornerback Cole Luke. Watkins, who suffered a fractured left humerus April 2, was also vying for the position. The junior is expected back when camp reconvenes in August.
Redshirt freshman Shaun Crawford, who may have already hopped Butler before his recent injured, is now a favorite to open the season with Luke at cornerback. Irish Sports Daily’s Jamie Uyeyama said sophomore Nick Coleman, who played primarily on special teams last year, and redshirt freshman Ashton White will probably get more attention for a spot behind Luke, Crawford and Watkins.
The Irish certainly lack experience at the corner position, with Butler giving them a little more than they’ll obviously have without him.
Butler started against Arizona State and USC in 2014; against the Trojans, he recorded a career-high 7 tackles. The junior also made seven tackles on special teams last year, third highest among the Irish. Butler also recovered a fumble on the opening kickoff of the second half against Navy, which ultimately resulted in a touchdown. He started against Stanford last year, recording three tackles.
Brent, who has struggled to crack the depth chart at running back, suffered a Lisfranc injury and had a screw inserted into his foot.
“He could be slowed for the first week or two,” Kelly told Blue Gold Illustrated’s Lou Somogyi.
Other injury news:
- Corey Robinson, who suffered multiple concussions during his football career, will announce Wednesday if he will continue to play. Robinson, who is the university’s student body president, is a senior with one year of eligibility remaining.
- Sophomore wide receiver C.J. Sanders is progressing nicely from surgery to repair a hip flexor. Kelly told Blue Gold Illustrated that “CJ is ahead of schedule by almost three weeks, which is really good news.” Sanders is expected to compete for the starting role at the slot position with redshirt sophomore Corey Holmes and may also be the Irish’s primary kick and punt returner.