The hits just keep on coming for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish this season. On Thursday afternoon, head coach Brian Kelly had unfortunate news to share involving his receiving corps.
Notre Dame wide receiver Joe Wilkins tore his MCL this past Saturday against Cincinnati and will miss the rest of this season.
Wilkins’ role in Notre Dame’s offense has slowly expanded over the past few seasons. Last year, he had seven receptions for 63 yards and a touchdown. In just four games this season, Wilkins had four catches for 61 yards and a score.
This injury has to be a tough pill to swallow for Wilkins. It shouldn’t mark the end of his career with the Fighting Irish, though.
#NotreDame WR Joe Wilkins Jr. will miss the rest of the season with a torn MCL, coach Brian Kelly says.
— Adam Rittenberg (@ESPNRittenberg) October 7, 2021
In addition to revealing the severity of Wilkins’ knee injury, Kelly shared the latest on tight end Michael Mayer’s health.
Mayer is currently dealing with an abductor strain and has a chance to play this weekend against the Hokies. Kelly won’t officially commit to Mayer being active for this Saturday’s game, but he certainly seems optimistic about the talented tight end’s outlook.
Through the first five games of the 2021 season, Mayer has been the top pass catcher for Notre Dame’s offense. He already has 32 receptions for 360 yards and three touchdowns.
With Wilkins out for the rest of the season, the Fighting Irish will need offensive weapons like Mayer to keep making plays.