SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Whether or not Notre Dame actually faces Christian McCaffrey on Saturday remains to be seen, but the Irish will go about preparing for their date with Stanford planning on the 2015 Heisman Trophy runner-up playing.
McCaffrey left Stanford’s embarrassing 44-16 home loss to Washington State last week with an undisclosed injury, and Cardinal coach David Shaw said Tuesday the star running back is “banged up” and a decision on whether or not he’ll play against the Irish will come later in the week.
Christian McCaffrey is "banged up" and no decision until Fri/Sat, per David Shaw. "We'll see how the week goes."— Jon Wilner (@wilnerhotline) October 11, 2016
McCaffrey, like the entire Stanford offense, has been stunningly ineffective in the Cardinal’s last two games. The junior has only 84 yards on 20 carries and six receptions for 35 yards without a touchdown in those blowout losses to Washington and Washington State.
Still, Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly said the Irish will “absolutely” gameplan to face McCaffrey, despite his injury status and recent downturn in production.
“Christian McCaffrey is the name that stands out for Stanford,” Kelly said. “Great football player, can do it all and somebody that you have to account for in all facets, special teams, offense, coming out of the backfield, running the football.”