Notre Dame is down its fifth starter for the season, as tight end Durham Smythe will miss the rest of the year after undergoing knee and shoulder surgery Tuesday morning, the school announced.
Smythe tore the MCL in his right knee in the fourth quarter of Saturday's 34-27 win at Virginia. In addition to the surgery to repair his knee, he had a right shoulder procedure done as well. He is expected to return for spring practice.
Smythe joins redshirt sophomore quarterback Malik Zaire (fractured right ankle) and junior running back Tarean Folston (torn right ACL) as Fighting Irish players who suffered significant injuries over the first two games. The Irish also lost redshirt junior defensive tackle Jarron Jones (torn right MCL) and freshman nickelback Shaun Crawford (torn ACL) for the season during fall camp.
Smythe, a redshirt sophomore, started the past two games for Notre Dame, catching one pass in each of them, for six yards and seven yards, respectively. The 7-yard grab against the Cavaliers was a touchdown catch on the first drive of the game, off a fake field-goal attempt, with holder/quarterback DeShone Kizer completing the pass.
Smythe played in all 13 games last season after redshirting in 2013, catching one pass for 7 yards.
Notre Dame is deep but young at tight end this season, with sophomore Tyler Luatua, redshirt freshman Nic Weishar, freshman Alize Jones and redshirt senior/converted defensive end Chase Hounshell all seeing action in one form or another in the first two games. Luatua received his first career start Saturday after playing in 10 games last season.