Golson concussed, but Kelly expects QB to be cleared for BYU


Everett Golson sustained a concussion on Saturday, but coach Brian Kelly doesn't expect the quarterback to miss next week's game against BYU. Kelly said Golson was still experiencing symptoms today, but team doctor James Moriarty told him he would expect Golson to be cleared to play this week.

"We really can't do anything with him physically until all of his symptoms have been cleared, and then there's the cognitive testing that has to take place," Kelly explained. "So our general protocol is we expect him tomorrow to be able to pass his cog test. If he does that, then we begin light exercise. If there's no recurrence of any headaches then we clear him.

"If he doesn't get cleared on Tuesday, then we repeat the process and we continue with it. So the only thing that would be at risk here would be if he's not cleared for Tuesday then he loses a lot of rep work on Tuesday. It doesn't mean, though, that he couldn't still be a starter for us if he practices Wednesday and Thursday."

The initial report was Golson's vision was blurred after he took a helmet-to-helmet hit late in Notre Dame's 20-13 overtime win over Stanford. "He wanted to get back in, and our medical personnel would not clear him."

While Kelly said Saturday he was "proud" of how Golson responded to adversity, he still turned the ball over three times. One was a fumbled snap Kelly said was "totally unacceptable," another directly resulted in points for Stanford and the third stopped what appeared to be a promising drive in the third quarter.

"Very concerned," Kelly said of those turnovers. "It's something that obviously we cannot continue to have. He's got to take better care of the football, and he's got to do it in practice, and he's got to be smarter."

If Golson isn't cleared, though, Tommy Rees will re-take the starting role he held for all but one game in 2011 -- although Kelly added Andrew Hendrix could be in the mix as well.

"Both of them could play," Kelly said. "I wouldn't rule it out. But we're probably putting too much on this. I'm really confident Everett will be cleared. "

Rees has relieved Golson twice this year for non-injury reasons, entering the final drive of Notre Dame's win over Purdue Sept. 8 and during the second quarter in the Irish's Sept. 22 win over Michigan.

Kelly also revealed the source of Golson's turf toe injury -- which was first reported by NBC's Alex Flanagan yesterday -- as stemming from the second quarter of Notre Dame's 41-3 win over Miami.

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