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Irish Insights

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Elston returns to Irish

Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly opened his Thursday post-practice news conference with good news.

Irish defensive line and special teams coach Mike Elston returned to the team Wednesday night.

Elston hasn't been with the Irish since last Thursday and missed Saturday's game against Michigan because of a virus.

Elston had given 72 vials of blood at one point as doctors tried to figure out what was wrong with him, Kelly had said.

"We were very concerned there for a while, but he has made a great recovery and he's on his way back, Kelly said. "He will be with us this week (when Notre Dame plays at Michigan State); he will travel with us. He is not in a coaching capacity with us this weekend."

With Elston out, tight ends coach Mike Denbrock has handled coaching the defensive line, and Lorenzo Guess, the assistant director of strength and conditioning, coached the tight ends, which he did for Kelly last season at Cincinnati. The special teams were headed by Denbrock, but other coaches also pitched in.

"He has a very important role on our staff," Kelly said of Elston. "Mike Denbrock has done a great job, and Lorenzo. But they used the analogy, Van Halen was just OK with Sammy Hagar. David Lee Roth was still what made Van Halen. We had Sammy Hagar in this week, wasn't too bad. But David Lee Roth is back."

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