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Irish answer the call

Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly briefly met with reporters after Wednesday's morning practice.

The Irish practiced at 6:15 a.m. today and then the players went to class. They are scheduled to reunite around 2:30 p.m. for weight training and dinner and then leave for the airport to fly to Ireland as Notre Dame prepares to play Navy at 9 a.m. Saturday inDublin.

Kelly said players were required to report at 5:20 a.m. if they wanted to play in Saturday's game.

"I had a sigh of relief," Kelly said of players reporting on time. "It was good to have everybody on deck and ready to go."

Kelly also provided updates on players that are still not ready to go. Linebacker Danny Spond, who has been held out of practice because of migraines since Aug. 8, is still unable to fully participate.

Kelly did say Spond has been conditioning but is not cleared for contact.

Right guard Tate Nichols, who has been unable to practice because of a left knee injury, is also close to returning, Kelly told reporters. The coach expects Nichols to be able to practice on a limited basis Monday.

Kelly said receiver John Goodman, a Bishop Dwenger graduated, did suffer groin injury and linebacker Dan Fox had a shoulder injury. The coach said neither player will be limited for Saturday's game.

"It's interesting because when (head football athletic trainer) Rob Hunt put together a list for us, Iron Men, if you will, in terms of who does not miss a practice in preseason camp, Fox was on there, even thought we didn't contact him every time, he answered every practice. He's fine," Kelly said. "Goody had a little bit of a groin, that seems to have resolved itself with the rest that he had. Those guys should be fine."

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