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Notre Dame's Marist Liufau Likely Out for Season After Ankle Surgery

The junior linebacker, who was expected to be the Irish's starter at the WILL position, suffered the injury last Wednesday in practice.
Notre Dame

Photo: Notre Dame Athletics

Marist Liufua underwent surgery Monday morning to repair a broken and dislocated ankle, and will likely miss the upcoming season, Notre Dame head football coach Brian Kelly said.

The Irish junior linebacker suffered the injury during practice Wednesday, and Kelly mentioned it is similar to the injury Alabama wide receiver Jaylen Waddle had this past season. Waddle's injury came on a kick off return in the Crimson Tide's fifth game of the season, and returned for the College Football Playoff Championship Game. He had three receptions for 34 yards in limited action.

Liufua was expected to start for the Fighting Irish at the WILL position. He had 22 total tackles and 1.5 tackles for loss in 10 games during the 2020 season.

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Fellow junior JD Bertrand will start in Liufua's place. Bertrand had seven tackles in seven games this past season. Senior Shayne Simon is listed as Bertrand's backup on the Irish's season opener depth chart against Florida State.

The Irish will kick-off their season against the Seminoles (6:30 p.m. Central time, ABC) on Sunday at Doak Campbell Stadium in Tallahassee, Florida.