Notre Dame TE Rudolph out for the season

So much for Kyle Rudolph being a factor in year one of the spread offense in South Bend.

Kyle RudolphICONNotre Dame TE Kyle Rudolph

The Notre Dame junior tight end will miss the rest of the season after tearing his hamstring in Saturday's win over Pittsburgh. The All-American will undergo surgery to repair the tear.

Fighting Irish head coach Brian Kelly said Rudolph, potentially a late first-round NFL draft pick when he declares, tore the tendons off the bone in the hamstring, which has been bothering him all season.

"We are losing one of the best tight ends in the country," Kelly said Tuesday in his weekly press conference.

Tyler Eiffert, Mike Ragone and Jake Golic will now vie for reps in Rudolph’s absence. Eiffert himself has been battling the injury bug. Highly touted freshman Alex Welch doesn't appear to be in the mix.

Rudolph had 28 catches for 328 yards and three touchdowns in 2010.

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