SOUTH BEND – Tommy Rees didn't want to be a spectator for most of the second half of Notre Dame's 14-10 victory over USC last week.
But the senior quarterback didn't have a choice.
Rees was sacked with 9 minutes to play in the third quarter and after staying on the ground after the hit was able to walk under his own power to the sideline. He was examined on the sideline before being taken to the locker room and when he returned he was wearing a hooded sweatshirt instead of his pads.
"I was pushing to go back in," Rees said Wednesday. "At the time it wasn't the best decision to make. I respect what the doctors and training staff do. They're the experts. They know what they're doing. I'm not going to question them, but I was definitely lobbying to get myself back out there."
Rees, who was diagnosed with a strained neck after the hit, does not have to lobby to play any more as Notre Dame (5-2) prepares to play at Air Force (1-6) on Saturday.
He returned to practice Tuesday, and the senior said he didn't feel any limitations during practice.
"Getting cleared to participate yesterday was big. It felt good out there," Rees said. "I will continue to progress throughout the week. It was good to be back out there with the guys. I feel good right now, and I'm going to continue to feel better throughout the week."