Notre Dame junior linebacker Marist Liufau underwent surgery Monday morning for a broken and dislocated ankle and he will likely miss the season, coach Brian Kelly announced Monday.
Liufau had 22 total tackles and 1.5 tackles for loss last season and was slated to be a significant contributor again in 2021.
He suffered the injury in practice on Wednesday and Kelly noted it was similar to the injury Alabama receiver Jaylen Waddle suffered last season.
Liufau was playing at the Will position and, according to Notre Dame's depth chart for its game this week against Florida State, junior linebacker J.D. Bertrand will start in his place. Senior Shayne Simon is second on the depth chart behind Bertrand, and Simon had split time with Liufau last season and had 14 total tackles and one tackle for loss.
Losing Liufau for the season is a blow to the defense, but there is quite a bit of experience coming back at nearly every position. The depth chart lists only one sophomore, safety Clarence Lewis, as a starter on defense and no freshman.