It was announced today that Notre Dame running back Jafar Armstrong may miss up to two months with a groin injury.
Armstrong only had two rushing attempts for ten yards and one reception for 16 yards before exiting the season opener at Louisville on Monday night.
The junior running back is part of a key dual threat in the Notre Dame running game alongside senior Tony Jones Jr., who obviously received the most attention out of the backfield against Louisville after Armstrong went down. The injury to Armstrong will almost certainly take a toll on the Notre Dame running game. In 2018, Armstrong had 72 rushes for 383 yards and seven touchdowns over ten games. Jones Jr., on the other hand, had 83 rushes for 392 yards and three touchdowns over 12 games. Though the two backs are fairly close numbers-wise, the Irish are losing their RB1 with Armstrong playing fewer games and still being on Jones Jr.’s heels.
What will Armstrong’s absence mean for sophomore running back Jahmir Smith? It’s time for him to take the reigns and make a big impact on this Notre Dame team. On Monday night, Smith recorded eight rushes for 24 yards and one reception for six yards. Two of those rushes resulted in short-yardage touchdowns. It will be interesting to see how he is deployed over the next five weeks and potentially longer. Hopefully, the injury to Armstrong isn’t more serious than the initial diagnosis and we’re seeing him running out of the tunnel wearing gold and blue again soon.
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