Irish rally around serious injuries to Grace, Smith

Irish rally around serious injuries to Grace, Smith
October 5, 2013, 8:00 pm
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ARLINGTON, Texas -- Linebacker Jarrett Grace broke his leg and wide receiver Daniel Smith broke his ankle in Notre Dame's 37-34 win over Arizona State Saturday at AT&T Stadium, and both are expected to miss the rest of the season.

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Grace will remain in the Dallas area overnight for observation and is not able to return to South Bend with his teammates. Smith, a senior and South Bend native who carved out a niche as an effective blocking receiver, likely saw his career end on Saturday.

Both are blows for the Irish moving forward, but for the present, Notre Dame found a way to rally around losing both players.

"We didn't want to leave here with both them being out and a loss," senior captain Bennett Jackson said. "So guys rallied. That's what you do as a team, you build character, everybody loves one another. And you go out there and play for one another."

[MORE: Defined by 2012 success, Irish look the part against Arizona State]

Grace's injury was particularly disheartening, as he laid on the AT&T Stadium turf for a few minutes until a cart arrived to ferry him away. His leg had to be stabilized, and the official diagnosis was a broken tibia. 

"It was really just to play for them -- Jarrett and Danny Smith, both elder guys, have been here for a long time," freshman Jaylon Smith said. "We wanted to get that win personally for them."

"When people are vulnerable," he added, "we have to come together and overcome that adversity."