Notre Dame loses leader in catches and receiving yards to torn ACL

Notre Dame loses leader in catches and receiving yards to torn ACL

Notre Dame (7-2 straight up, 7-2 against the spread) junior tight end Mitchell Evans has a torn ACL that will keep him out for the rest of the season. Evans went down in the Fighting Irish’s 58-7 home win over Pittsburgh as a 21-point home favorite.

Despite missing two games, Evans was leading Notre Dame in receptions (29) and receiving yards (422). He has one touchdown catch and a 14.6 yards per reception average.

Evans had seven catches for 75 yards in a 17-14 home loss to Ohio St., and then he delivered his best performance of the year with six receptions for 134 yards in a 21-14 win at Duke the following week. He had five catches for 66 yards against the Panthers before getting injured in the third quarter.

“He will have surgery here in the next week or so, depending on when the doctors decide to do it,” Notre Dame head coach Marcus Freeman said earlier today.

Without Evans, sophomore TE Holden Staes will take on a larger role. Staes has 12 catches for 163 yards and four TDs in six games this year. He had four receptions for 115 yards and two TDs in a 45-24 win at NC St. in Week 2.

“You don’t make up for the production that Mitch gave our offense with one guy,” Freeman said. “Every person in that tight ends room will be asked to do more.”

Notre Dame will take on Clemson (4-4 SU, 2-6 ATS) this Saturday at noon Eastern. As of Monday afternoon, most books had the Fighting Irish installed as a 2.5-point road favorite.

The Tigers will be looking to avenge a 35-14 loss in South Bend last year. They’ll also be looking to avoid a three-game losing streak after back-to-back losses at Miami (28-20 in overtime) and at NC St. (24-17).