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Notre Dame Football Suffers A Significant Injury Blow

Brian Kelly of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish.

SOUTH BEND, IN - OCTOBER 13: Notre Dame Fighting Irish head coach Brian Kelly stands in the tunnel in front of his team before the game against the Pittsburgh Panthers at Notre Dame Stadium on October 13, 2018 in South Bend, Indiana. (Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images)

This Sunday, Notre Dame football will begin its 2021 campaign. Unfortunately, the Fighting Irish will be without one of their key defensive players.

Notre Dame suffered a significant injury blow on Monday. Linebacker Marist Liufau, who had 22 tackles last season, underwent surgery for a broken ankle on Monday morning. To make matters worse, he'll be out the entire season, per head coach Brian Kelly.

Liufau, a former three-star recruit, joined the Fighting Irish as apart of the 2019 cycle. In eight games last season, the then sophomore linebacker had 22 total tackles, 1.5 which went for a loss, and 0.5 sacks. Liufau was expected to start at WILL this upcoming season.

Notre Dame football is now down a starting player ahead of the official start of the 2021 season.

Notre Dame football is coming off a 10-2 season in which its only losses came at the hands of Clemson and Alabama. Expectations are high entering the 2021 season.

The Fighting Irish kickoff the 2021 season with a showdown with the Florida State Seminoles this coming Sunday. That's no gimme. Mike Norvell has the Seminoles on the right track. Florida State won't be an easy out and would love to start the year out on the right note.

The rest of Notre Dame's September schedule could prove difficult. The Fighting Irish get a break with Toledo on Sept. 11 and Purdue on Sept. 18, but then have to take on No. 12 Wisconsin on Sept. 25 and No. 8 Cincinnati on Oct. 2.

We'll learn everything we need to about this Notre Dame football team against Florida State this Sunday, Sept. 5.