Notre Dame's secondary depth may have taken a hit with three weeks left until the season opener.
Safety Nicky Baratti's father, Clarke, posted to his Facebook page: "You won't be see in this again in 2013? .. Nicky is out fort the year" with an accompanying photo of his son's interception against Michigan last fall. Irish Illustrated's Pete Sampson was the first to report the Facebook post.
Baratti underwent shoulder surgery following the BCS Championship and missed spring practice. Baratti tweeted Sunday morning "everything happens for a reason."
A Notre Dame spokesman was not able to confirm Baratti's condition, although it's likely to be addressed by coach Brian Kelly after Monday's practice.
Unlike last year, Notre Dame does have good depth in its secondary and likely could absorb the blow of losing Baratti, who appeared in all 13 games for the Irish splitting time between special teams and safety.
Matthias Farley and Elijah Shumate appear on track to start at both of Notre Dame's safety spots, but behind them is a talented group. Five-star freshman Max Redfield generates the most buzz, while Austin Collinsworth is healthy and experienced under Bob Diaco and Eilar Hardy made significant strides during spring practice.
For now, this is all speculation -- legitimate, grounded speculation, but speculation nonetheless. We'll know more Monday.