Malik Zaire was expected to be a huge part of Notre Dame's 2015 season.
The quarterback had a great debut against Texas before going down with a broken ankle in week two against Virginia.
That was presumed to be a season-ending injury for the third-year sophomore, but coach Fighting Irish Brian Kelly might have raised some eyebrows Sunday when he mentioned Zaire is about to have a boot removed and has been throwing in practice.
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He clarified Tuesday that Zaire will not be coming back this season.
“Yeah, he won't be back this year, but he's active to the point where he's out there already moving around, throwing the football, getting his arm in shape,” Kelly said during his usual Tuesday press conference in South Bend. “But in no shape or fashion is he going to be able to compete.”
Fortunately for the Fighting Irish, Zaire's replacement has been more than up to the task of leading a team with high expectations.
Redshirt freshman DeShone Kizer threw the game-winning touchdown pass after replacing Zaire against the Cavaliers and has started seven games since.
Kizer has completed 142 of 215 passes for 1,931 yards with 16 touchdown passes and six interceptions. He has also run for 308 yards and six touchdowns.