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October 14, 2012

Golson concussed, remains starter

If all goes according to plan, Everett Golson will practice as Notre Dame's starting quarterback on Tuesday. And even if all doesn't go according to plan, Golson still figures to start for the fifth-ranked Irish next weekend against BYU.

During his Sunday teleconference Brian Kelly confirmed what had been suspected after Stanford defensive back Usua Amanam drilled the Irish quarterback's helmet during an awkward fourth quarter tackle. Golson suffered a concussion on the hit, which forced Tommy Rees to direct Notre Dame to its 20-13 overtime win.

Kelly said Golson had some lingering symptoms of that concussion on Sunday, but the head coach believes his starting quarterback will be cleared for practice on Tuesday.

"He was still a bit symptomatic today, so he'll go through his cognitive testing tomorrow, and we expect that if all things move in this direction that he should be cleared by Tuesday," Kelly said. "If he's not able to go or is not cleared, then Tommy and Andrew Hendrix would be our quarterback situation."

Golson can rest easy for the next 48 hours with Notre Dame on fall break, also good for the turf toe the quarterback suffered in the second quarter against Miami, which wasn't known until after kickoff yesterday.

Kelly said that even if Golson doesn't practice Tuesday he could still start against BYU.

"The only thing that would be at risk here would be if he's not cleared for Tuesday then he loses a lot of rep work on Tuesday," Kelly said. "It doesn't mean, though, that he couldn't still be a starter for us if he practices Wednesday and Thursday."

Golson could use the work after fumbling four times against Stanford, losing three.

The most damaging was the strip sack by Chase Thomas in the end zone that created Stanford's only touchdown. But the other three fumbles were more preventable. Golson botched a center exchange with Braxston Cave on Notre Dame's opening drive, then was part of a three-way error in the second quarter when a high snap led to a fumbled handoff to Theo Riddick.

On Notre Dame's third drive of the third quarter, Golson bolted upfield for a 20-yard gain, and instead of stepping out of bounds took on Cardinal defensive back Alex Carter, an Irish legacy. Carter forced a fumble that Ben Gardener recovered.

"Very concerned," Kelly said. "It's something that obviously we cannot continue to have. He's got to take better care of the football, and he's got to do it in practice, and he's got to be smarter."

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