SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Notre Dame will be without starting defensive end Ethan Johnson today, as the senior sprained his right ankle in last week's game at Purdue.
Johnson was wearing a big black boot on his right foot and was not in uniform when the Fighting Irish warmed up on the field. Freshman Aaron Lynch was taking first-team snaps and will likely start in his place.
Johnson was immobilized until Thursday of this week after suffering the injury, and Brian Kelly said then that he would be a game-time decision. Notre Dame has a bye week next Saturday, so that may have possibly played into a decision as well.
In other injury news, long-snapper Jordan Cowart, who broke his hand in a post-punt scuffle last week at Purdue, was in uniform but only watched as Braxston Cave short-snapped and Ryan Kavanagh long-snapped in warmups. Darius Fleming long-snapped a bit, too, and he will be Cave's backup if Cowart can't go, which looks like that may be the case.
The band is on the field and we're only minutes away from kickoff, so keep it right here for updates and analysis.