NOTRE DAME — Louis Nix will be spending his Notre Dame senior day in the press box instead of on the field.
The Irish nose guard will miss the rest of the season after undergoing surgery on his injured meniscus on Thursday, Nov. 21, according to head coach Brian Kelly.
Nix had been battling knee tendinitis since the BCS National Championship game in January. The issue flared up again in October and kept Nix out of games against Air Force and Navy.
After the Navy game, Kelly announced that Nix also had a torn meniscus and would eventually need surgery to repair it. After another MRI and a second opinion on his knee from Dr. James Andrews, Nix elected to undergo surgery this week.
Kelly spoke to the impact Nix has had on the Notre Dame football program for the past four years.
“On the field, his competitive spirit,” Kelly said. “Just a great competitor. He’s also that marquee defensive lineman that Notre Dame has not had in a long time, that physical presence on the defensive line. I think that was talked about a lot when I got here, that Notre Dame couldn’t get. I think he’s set a great precedent in the sense that you can get those players to Notre Dame and they can succeed.”
Nix met briefly with assembled media on Thursday to address the surgery and his future.
“For me, it was hard on me,” Nix said. “I didn’t think my week would go this way. Coming off the Pitt game, I thought I did a pretty good job, felt real hurt during that game but came back and then throughout the week my leg was just painful and then communicate with the doctors and told them how I felt. I got treatment and kept going and going, but it continued to hurt.”
Nix said he hasn’t decided if he’ll return for a fifth year or if he’ll declare for the NFL draft in April, adding that the injury won’t sway his decision either way. When asked about a possible return, Nix’s signature sense of humor emerged.
“Realistically, it’s still a big decision now. I haven’t thought about it, I’m just thinking of getting healthy, getting my rehab, finish my season of Breaking Bad,” he said. “You know, just cheering on my team.”
He will still walk to midfield on Saturday to greet his mother and father before the BYU game, but he said he’ll watch the game inside after his doctors advised the cold wouldn’t be good for his knee.
Nix played more than 60 snaps against Pittsburgh two weeks ago.
Kelly said back-up Kona Schwenke still is “not at 100 percent” following an ankle injury. Instead, Jarron Jones will shoulder a good portion of the snaps.