Posted by Chip Patterson
Notre Dame tight end Kyle Rudolph has struggled all season with a hamstring injury. There seems to be doubt each week as to whether the 6-6 junior will be able to go for the Irish, and each week he is back on the field. Rudolph had five catches for 38 yards in the 23-17 win over Pittsburgh on Saturday, but sat out the final series due to the hurting leg muscle.
Rudolph has been playing through the injury all season, according to head coach Brian Kelly. After Saturday's press conference, Brian Hamilton of the Chicago Tribune suggests that the tight end might be shut down for a week.
"He's been struggling all year. He's a tough kid, he wants to keep going out there," Kelly said after the game. "It's probably at that point where you have to make a decision to shut him down for a week or you keep playing through it."
It is hard to pick out a better time for the 3-3 Irish to rest Rudolph than the week they face Western Michigan at home. With Navy, Tulsa, Utah, Army, and USC all left on the schedule, this week's contest appears to be the best time to let Rudolph's hamstring heal as much as possible. The Irish are just three wins away from being bowl eligible again, and they will need all the weapons they have as the season comes to a close to get there.
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