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Irish backup TE out

Notre Dame will be without backup tight end Alex Welch when the Irish (0-1) play Michigan (1-0) in the first night game at Michigan Stadium on Saturday.

The sophomore had an abscess that required surgery and is expected to miss 10 days, coach Brian Kelly told reporters Thursday.

Kelly also put a fine point on who the backup quarterback is going into the weekend, saying Dayne Crist is next in line behind starter Tommy Rees.

Crist starter the season-opening loss to South Florida but was replaced by Rees at halftime. Rees was named the starter for this weekend's game Tuesday.

"I don't know if he's ever been a backup, other than when he was a red shirt, in a sense, where he's staying behind Jimmy Clausen," Kelly said of how Crist is handling being No. 2 on the depth chart. "He did quite well this week. He knows he's got to be ready. He did a good job mentally this week, staying prepared. He's ready to play if he gets called on against Michigan."

Two players who are likely to get called Saturday are receivers Robby Toma and John Goodman.

"We've looked at that this week and getting Toma on the field at a pre-designed time, say second series get him in the game. Same thing with (former Bishop Dwenger standout John) Goodman, trying to get those guys in the game because we really believe that those guys can help us win, too," Kelly said.

The Journal Gazette's Assistant Sports Editor Tony Krausz covers The University of Notre Dame. Krausz, a graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism and a native of St. Louis, has been assistant sports editor since October 2005. Prior to joining the JG, he worked at two papers in Mississippi covering high school and college athletics.