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Notre Dame pro day: Injuries limit some players

SOUTH BEND – Notre Dame's pro day brought 16 former players back to campus as representatives from all 32 NFL teams including three general managers and Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin and Jacksonville Jaguars coach Gus Bradley were present Thursday.

But not every player could perform.

Defensive end Stephon Tuitt was still recovering from a procedure to fix a fracture in his left foot and wore a protective boot, and tight end Troy Nikas was idle because of a hernia.

That left running back George Atkinson III, linebacker Carlo Calabrese, linebacker Dan Fox, offensive lineman Mike Golic Jr., cornerback Bennett Jackson, receiver TJ Jones, offensive lineman Zack Martin, defensive lineman Louis Nix III, quarterback Tommy Rees, defensive lineman Kona Schwenke, linebacker Prince Shembo, kicker Nick Tausch, receiver Robby Toma and offensive lineman Chris Watt to go through various workouts.

But not all of those players could do everything they wanted to Thursday.

Jackson had to stop after pulling his hamstring while running the 40-yard dash, ending his plan to go through position drills. Jackson along with Tuitt, Nix, Atkinson, Jones, Martin, Niklas, Shembo and Watt were all at the NFL combine in Indianapolis.

"The one DB coach who was here told me don't bother," Jackson said of trying to continue after tweaking his hamstring. "I had a lot of it at the combine already. I tried warming up to see if it would go, but I didn't want to hurt it any more."

Jones, who was also dealing with an illness, also ended his day earlier than expected as a hamstring injury flared up while he went through passing drills with Rees, Atkinson and Toma.

"I did the best I could with the routes I could run," Jones said. "I couldn't run the deeper routes, but it is nothing series. It happened two days ago. It's really the reason I couldn't do more than I wanted."

Rees complete 32 of 34 passes and was accurate on nearly all of his throws.

"I was really pleased with how I threw the ball and all of that," Rees said. "You just got to be calm and enjoy yourself. That was the biggest thing for me is come out here and have fun. I feel like I did that and had a good time with my teammates. I'll just take it from here and see what happens next."

Former Bishop Luers standout Jaylon Smith and former Bishop Dwenger standout Tony Springmann were among those who watched Thursday's workouts along with current teammates and former Irish players Kapron Lewis-Moore, Tyler Stockton, Jake Golic and Mike Golic.