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August 11, 2013

Baratti status in doubt

Nicky Baratti could be lost for the season.

On Sunday afternoon the safety’s father, Clarke Baratti, posted a photo of his son’s interception against Michigan last season with the caption, “You won’t be seeing this again in 2013 .. Nicky is out for the year.”

A source told Irish Illustrated that Baratti had injured the same shoulder that required off-season surgery last winter.

A Notre Dame spokesman would not confirm the injury, but head coach Brian Kelly is scheduled to speak to reporters after practice on Monday afternoon.

Baratti was limited during spring practice during rehab from that shoulder surgery, giving way to Elijah Shumate with the first-team defense. During the first week of camp Baratti had been running with the second defense alongside Austin Collinsworth. If Baratti can’t go moving forward, it could elevate Eilar Hardy or Max Redfield into the two-deep.

The Irish secondary has been hit hard by injuries over the last year, starting with Lo Wood rupturing his Achilles last August and missing the season. Collinsworth endured shoulder and back surgeries and also missed the year. Bennett Jackson played through shoulder pain, then underwent off-season surgery that limited him during spring.

Unlike last year’s injury to Wood, the loss of Baratti shouldn’t throw the secondary into scramble mode, despite the Irish having to replace Zeke Motta and Jamoris Slaughter, who was lost for the year with a ruptured Achilles suffered at Michigan State in September.

Matthias Farley is established in the starting lineup with Shumate trending toward the second spot. Collinsworth hasn’t played much during his career but has three years of experience in Brian Kelly’s program. And if Redfield jumps into the mix it wouldn’t be a surprise considering the five-star recruit is the highest-rated defensive back prospect to sign with Notre Dame in the Rivals.com era.

Exactly where Baratti stands medically should become clearer on Monday after Kelly speaks on the issue, but based on the safety’s father’s comments on Facebook, the sophomore may be lost for the season.


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