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Paul Skrbina | Chicago Tribune | December 21, 2015

Notre Dame going for no-name approach against Ohio State

  Notre Dame could return some of its top players from injury, just in time for Fiesta Bowl against Ohio State.

Notre Dame will be a band of no-names when it faces Ohio State on New Year's Day in the Fiesta Bowl.

And that's just how the Irish prefer it.

In fact, that's what the seniors requested when they approached coach Brian Kelly about bucking recent bowl tradition against the Buckeyes.

"Every year we put the names on the back of our jerseys for the bowl game," Kelly said. "But the seniors came to me and said they don't want [it]. It's about team 127."

A team that could welcome back a few names who have been missing for varying times because of injuries.

A high ankle sprain caused running back C.J. Prosise's absence from the regular-season finale against Stanford. Kelly said he's "moving around but not at full-go yet."

Prosise hasn't taken any meaningful reps in practice as the Irish begin to prepare for Ohio State, but Kelly said the team is "hopeful" that will happen this week.

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Nose tackle Jarron Jones, who was expected to miss the entire year after tearing his right MCL during a preseason practice, is expected to play and contribute against No. 7 Ohio State (11-1).

"He has shown no ill effects," Kelly said. "He is going to help us on third down. His push is undervalued."

Also expected to return is tight end Durham Smythe, who suffered a knee injury in the second game of the season against Virginia. No. 8 Notre Dame (10-2) will practice Monday through Wednesday before players return to their homes for Christmas.

While the Irish look forward to the return of several players, Ohio State is dealing with the loss of a couple of its own.

Defensive lineman Tommy Schutt has an injured foot and his status is uncertain.

Kelly said he's confident the Buckeyes will have enough in reserve but expressed some empathy.

"At this time of year you don't want to lose your front-line guys," Kelly said.

This article was written by Paul Skrbina from Chicago Tribune and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

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