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Notre Dame LB Greer Martini to miss USC game with knee injury

Notre Dame linebacker Greer Martini intercepts a pass from Miami (Ohio) quarterback Gus Ragland during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Sept. 30, 2017, in South Bend, Ind. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

Notre Dame will be without a key defensive contributor vs. USC on Saturday.

Fighting Irish coach Brian Kelly said Thursday that starting linebacker Greer Martini would miss the game because of meniscus surgery for a knee injury suffered during a practice. From Rivals’ BlueAndGold.com:

“I think there’s a good chance we’ll have him back for North Carolina State,” said Kelly. “He had a small procedure done to clean up a small meniscus. He was moving around today pretty good, but we would be rushing to get him back. We’ll hold him out this week but we feel really confident we’ll get him back next week.”

Martini is Notre Dame’s third-leading tackler and has two forced fumbles. Te’von Coney will start in Martini’s place at inside linebacker.

The USC game is the first in a crazy second-half schedule for the Irish. After playing the Trojans, Notre Dame takes on NC State and two weeks later plays at Miami. Then Notre Dame finishes the season with Navy and Stanford. If the Irish somehow go undefeated in the second half of the season they will be a safe bet for the College Football Playoff.

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Nick Bromberg is the editor of Dr. Saturday and From the Marbles on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at nickbromberg@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!