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Daniels, Mahone To Play Saturday

Junior wide receiver DaVaris Daniels and sophomore slot receiver Will Mahone are available to play at Michigan on Saturday, Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly confirmed at his Thursday media briefing. Freshman quarterback Malik Zaire will not make the trip due to mononucleosis, and senior wide receiver Luke Massa will fill his role as the third-string quarterback.

Junior wide receiver DaVaris Daniels caught two touchdown passes Saturday and will be available to play at Michigan on Saturday after suffering a minor groin injury in the 28-6 Irish win.

Daniels caught two touchdown passes from senior quarterback Tommy Rees before leaving the game with a slight groin injury. Kelly said earlier in the week that Daniels could have reentered the game, but that Notre Dame didn’t want to risk further injury. Mahone suffered a high ankle sprain during fall camp and could not practice until earlier this week.

“He’s going to have to work his way back, but he’s earned his way to being on the travel roster,” Kelly said. “We didn’t put him on just because. He did a lot of good things before he got injured.”

Kelly said kickers Kyle Brindza and Nick Tausch both had a strong week of practice. He said both could end up playing at the Big House this weekend.

“Kyle continues to kick the ball well, and I think we still have Nick and [senior punter Alex Wulfeck] that … can help us,” Kelly said. “I think we’ll see what happens as we get to gametime. I think I’ve made it pretty clear I like Brindza, but you never know what might happen. There’s a lot of kicking going on with what he’s doing. We like what he’s done, but I’m not going to [put] myself in a corner.”

Ten Notre Dame freshmen saw the field in the 28-6 win over Temple on Saturday, and Kelly said all 10 are expected to play again this weekend, despite the hostile environment.

“We’ll find out how in the flow of the game they measure up,” Kelly said. “For us, we’ve already decided that they’re going to play. We went into game one and put them in there. None of them are in critical roles, all of them are complementary players for us, maybe [Dog linebacker] Jaylon Smith could be considered more of a frontline guy because of his starting role.

“All of them are going to play and we’ll see how it works out. … We’ve already talked to them about the atmosphere. We’re going up there to win the game. If they’re nervous, can’t handle it, then we probably recruited the wrong guy.”

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