Brian Kelly's decision to insert Tommy Rees late in Saturday's win over Purdue sent shockwaves through Notre Dame nation -- will Everett Golson have to look over his shoulder every time the clock winds down in a close game?
On Sunday, Kelly didn't rule out another late-game Rees substitution, although it doesn't sound like the third-year Notre Dame coach is itching to make that decision again.
"Iif we feel like Tommy can help us win a game or he can come in in a situation where we believe it's the right fit, then he'll be prepared to do so," Kelly said. "I use this baseball analogy: We would like our starters to finish the game. We want them to go all nine innings. But occasionally, you may need some help. Maybe you need long relief and maybe you need some short relief.
"I don't want to take anything off the table, but we like our starter to start and finish it."
While Golson -- who completed 21 of 31 passes for 289 yards and one touchdown -- wasn't pleased with the decision to go with Rees, Kelly said that's only natural, and that the sophomore responded well in backing his teammates.
"Anybody that gets taken out of the game is going to react in a manner that he wants to play, and if they don't, I don't want him to be our quarterback," Kelly said. "I know Everett wanted to be in the game and that's a good thing. But he's been supported by Tommy and Andrew (Hendrix), and now it was his chance to support Tommy in that situation. He's a young man that's understanding and growing every day, and we won't have any issues moving forward."
It looks like all of Notre Dame's banged-up players from Saturday will be ready for Sept. 15's contest at Michigan State.
Safety Jamoris Slaughter (shoulder) and tight end Tyler Eifert (mild concussion) have been cleared, while defensive end Kapron Lewis-Moore (calf) is improving and is likely to be cleared this week. Wide receiver DaVaris Daniels (ankle) is a little more uncertain, although Kelly expects him to be ready for Michigan State.
Minor knocks to Golson (thumb), Manti Te'o (sternum) and Ishaq Williams (elbow) won't keep them out of action this week.