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Notre Dame coach Marcus Freeman updates the injury statuses of two players following Saturday’s practice

Kyle Kellyby:Kyle Kelly04/13/24


The Fighting Irish football program was without two veteran wide receivers during Saturday’s Notre Dame football “jersey scrimmage.” Afterward, coach Marcus Freeman told reporters Jayden Harrison and Jayden Thomas were sidelined with injuries.

According to Freeman, Harrison, a transfer from Marshall, has dealt with a plantar fasciitis strain. Freeman noted Harrison’s injury that linebacker JD Bertrand suffered during the Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl Dec. 29.

Freeman said Harrison is out for the remainder of the spring practice, which concludes with the Blue-Gold Game April 20. The graduate student wideout and return man was spotted wearing a walking boot on his left foot.

As for Thomas, Freeman said a hamstring injury hindered the rising senior pass catcher from participating in the scrimmage. Thomas missed two games last season due to a similar injury. Freeman did not detail when they can expect Thomas to return to practice in full capacity.

Harrison and Thomas have differing distinguished roles with the Irish football team.

Notre Dame plucked Harrison from the transfer portal to handle kick return and slot-receiving duties. He was most effective on special teams at his previous stop.

Harrison was a first-team All-America kick returner for the Thundering Herd. He finished the 2023 regular season as the nation’s top-kick return man. The 5-11, 195-pounder averaged an FBS-best 31.9 yards per return. In addition, Harrison was one of five players to have two kick return touchdowns. 

In the passing game, he caught a career-high 28 passes for 410 yards. Harrison reached the end zone once. Before his transfer to Marshall, Harrison spent the 2020 and 2021 seasons at Vanderbilt.

Harrison was one of three wide receivers the Irish added out of the transfer portal this offseason. Notre Dame also brought in former Florida International wideout Kris Mitchell and Clemson standout Beaux Collins.

Thomas entered the 2023 season as Notre Dame’s No. 1 wide receiver. In the first three games of his junior campaign, he caught 12 passes for 188 yards and 1 touchdown.

However, a hamstring strain sustained on Sept. 23 against Ohio State limited his ability for the remainder of the season. He only combined for four catches and 56 yards against Louisville on Oct. 7 and Pittsburgh on Oct. 28.

The 6-1, 220-pound Thomas returned to the lineup for the Sun Bowl, seemingly at full strength. He capped off the year with a 4-catch performance for 59 yards and 1 touchdown.

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