Notre Dame junior tight end Cole Kmet suffered a broken collarbone in practice Thursday and will miss the start of the season, coach Brian Kelly confirmed Saturday.
Kelly said the timetable ranges from four to 10 weeks, but he is hopeful Kmet can return for the second game of the season against visiting New Mexico on Sept. 14. One week later, the Fighting Irish play one of the biggest nonconference games of the season at Georgia.
Kmet caught 15 passes for 162 yards last season behind starter Alize Mack and is projected to be a key part of the offense in 2019. He was a Top 100 recruit in the 2017 class, per the 247Sports composite rankings.
The Irish have little experience behind Kmet, with Brock Wright (two catches in 2018) the next in line.
Notre Dame, coming off an appearance in the College Football Playoff and ranked No. 9 in the preseason coaches poll, opens the season at Louisville on Monday, Sept. 2.
Notre Dame also announced seven captains for the season, including quarterback Ian Book. The others are safeties Jalen Elliott and Alohi Gilman, defensive ends Khalid Kareem and Julian Okwara, wide receiver Chris Finke and offensive lineman Robert Hainsey.