The Notre Dame Fighting Irish have suspended running back Cierre Wood and defensive end Justin Utupo for the first two games of the regular season. Head coach Brian Kelly spoke with reporters on Sunday, confirming the news.
"Our players are aware of the standards I set for our program and that failure to meet my expectations will result in consequences," Irish coach Brian Kelly said, according to The Observer, Notre Dame's student newspaper. "Justin and Cierre violated our team rules so I've suspended them for the first two games of the season."
With both players missing the team's season opener in Dublin, Ireland, the Fighting Irish will need to find someone else to lead their running attack early in the season. Wood emerged in 2011 to run for 1,102 yards and nine touchdowns as a junior. Theo Riddick is likely going to start in his place.
Utupo's absence won't be nearly as painful given his status as a special teams player for the most part, but these are just the latest suspensions handed out by Kelly this offseason.
Wood's return will likely be integral to Notre Dame's offense, but that won't happen until the team plays Michigan State Sept. 15.
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