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Golson suffers concussion, should play this weekend

Notre Dame's Everett Golson suffered a concussion after being knocked out of Saturday's 20-13 overtime win over Stanford by a helmet-to-helmet hit, but coach Brian Kelly expects to have his starting quarterback for this weekend's home game against BYU (4-3).

Kelly said during his Sunday teleconference that Golson still had some symptoms the day after suffering the concussion, but he expects Golson to be able to pass the necessary follow-up tests Monday and be able to practice Tuesday.

"We really can't do anything with them physically until all the symptoms are cleared, then the cognitive testing has to take place," Kelly said. "We expect him (Monday) to be able to pass his cognitive test, and if does that, then we begin light exercise. If there's no reoccurrence of any headaches, then we clear him.

"If he doesn't get cleared Tuesday, we repeat the process. The only thing he's at risk of, if he's not cleared Tuesday, he loses a lot of rep work Tuesday."

Kelly also said Golson would be able to start for the No. 5 Irish (6-0) even if he did miss Tuesday's practice, but the coach doesn't expect that to happen.

Golson's recovery should be helped by a lighter week.

Notre Dame is on fall break after last week's midterms, and the only thing on the sophomore's agenda today was a visit with the doctor and there is a team meeting Monday.

"The good thing is they don't have classes this week, so he'll have nothing of an assignment other than at (3 p.m.), we'll have a team meeting," Kelly said.

If Golson is unable to go, Kelly said Tommy Rees – who replaced Golson in the win over Stanford – and Andrew Hendrix would play.

"Tommy and Andrew Hendrix would be our quarterback situation," Kelly said. "But talking to (Notre Dame physician Dr. James) Moriarty, who's one of the lead guys in concussions, he felt pretty confident that (Golson would) be cleared by Tuesday."

While Kelly isn't too concerned about Golson – who also suffered a turf toe injury in the second quarter of the Irish's 41-3 win over Miami on Oct. 6 – being available this weekend, he is concerned about the sophomore's turnovers.

Golson mishandled a handoff, fumbled in the end zone after a sack leading to a Cardinal touchdown and killed a drive in the third quarter with a fumble inside Stanford's red zone after a long run.

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

"I think if you look at the first turnover, we're talking about mishandling a direct snap, something that we do every day, totally unacceptable. The other turnover was holding onto the ball. It was the sack fumble against the three-man rush. Again, maybe we could have put him in better situation there. And then the third one, it's easy for him to just step out of bounds and avoid contact.

"So all of them are coachable, all of them are correctable, and we'll continue to work on it with him so we can eliminate these mistakes."

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