Sheldon Day hasn't felt healthy in three and a half months, but the nearly month-long break between Notre Dame's regular season finale and the Pinstripe Bowl has served the defensive end well.
Day said he last felt "normal" during Notre Dame's Sept. 7 loss at Michigan. A week later, he sprained his ankle at Purdue and never could completely shake the injury.
"I wouldn't call it frustrating, just a long process," Day said. "The setbacks, and then I make a gain forward, then I get set back again. Just a long season."
The Pinstripe Bowl may offer a view into the future for Day, who may be counted on to anchor the Irish defensive line next year that'll be without Louis Nix and possibly Stephon Tuitt. Day appeared in 10 games (seven starts) and recorded five tackles for a loss and 31 total tackles, though he didn't register a sack.
A healthy Day should be better than that -- he recorded three and a half tackles for a loss and two sacks as a reserve in 2012 -- and for Notre Dame's sake in 2014, he'll have to be better. If he's the only returning starter next fall, he'll be counted on to shoulder the load that was on Nix and Tuitt in 2013.