Notre Dame WR Floyd cleared to play against Navy | NevadaAppeal.com
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Notre Dame WR Floyd cleared to play against Navy

Tom Coyne

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) – Notre Dame’s high-flying offense got one of its most potent players back with the return of receiver Michael Floyd.

The 6-foot-3, 220-pound sophomore was second in the nation in receiving yards at 160 yards a game when he broke his left collarbone trying to make a catch against Michigan State on Sept. 19 in the third game of the season.

Floyd, who had a plate placed on the bone the next day, was “hooting and hollering going down the steps” after receiving the news Monday night that he was cleared to play, coach Charlie Weis said Tuesday.

Doctors, including noted orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Andrews of Alabama, said Floyd’s collarbone had healed enough to play – and then Floyd’s mother gave the OK.

“He came back to me and said, ‘I’m ready to go,”‘ Weis said.

Weis said he isn’t worried about Floyd playing tentatively because of the injury when the 19th-ranked Fighting Irish (6-2) play Navy (6-3) at Notre Dame Stadium on Saturday.

“The biggest thing he’s going to have to happen is to get tackled once,” Weis said. “He’ll get hit in practice some, but I doubt we’re going to try him out in practice. I think we’re going to have to wait and find that out as it happens in game.”

Floyd, who injured his knee last season against Navy, won’t be wearing anything special to protect his shoulder, Weis said. He probably also won’t play every down.

The Irish also received some bad news. Backup quarterback Dayne Crist is gone for the season after tearing his anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee against Washington State over the weekend. Crist is scheduled to undergo surgery Friday. He is expected to be out four to six months.

Evan Sharpley, a senior who cut his minor-league baseball season short to come back for a fifth season, will be Jimmy Clausen’s backup.

Sharpley was the No. 2 quarterback the past three seasons, starting two games in place of the injured Clausen in 2007.

Receiver John Goodman, who played quarterback as a senior at Bishop Dwenger High School in Fort Wayne, will practice some at quarterback this week and is now the third-string QB, Weis said.

“He really won’t be getting any reps there because Sharpley needs to get all the reps we can give him to have him ready to go,” Weis said.

The bigger concern for the Irish might be next spring – so long as Clausen, who has been hobbled by turf toe on his right foot since the Michigan State game, remains healthy. Clausen is second in the nation with a pass efficiency rating of 164.25 and there is speculation he could turn pro after his junior season, although he has said he hasn’t thought about that yet.

Weis has said he and Clausen have agreed to wait until the first week of December to talk about the NFL. But if he does turn pro and Crist takes six months to recover, the Irish wouldn’t have a quarterback on scholarship unless a recruit enrolls in January.

The team also said defensive end Kapron Lewis-Moore is probable against Navy, right guard Trevor Robinson is doubtful and tailback Armando Allen Jr. is day to day. All three have sprained ankles. Reserve tight end Bobby Burger (neck) remains out.