ND S Kyle Hamilton out vs. North Carolina due to knee injury
Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

Notre Dame safety Kyle Hamilton won't play vs. North Carolina due to knee injury

The No. 11-ranked Notre Dame Fighting Irish improved to 6-1 on the season via Saturday's 31-16 win over the USC Trojans but lost a key defensive contributor in the process. 

According to Adam Rittenberg of ESPN, Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly confirmed Monday that star safety and All-American Kyle Hamilton won't play in this coming Saturday's prime-time matchup versus the North Carolina Tar Heels because of the right knee injury he suffered in the first quarter of the victory over USC. 

Kelly said that Hamilton will undergo additional testing but suggested this isn't a season-ending setback. 

"There's a lot of moving pieces here, but I can tell you there's some confidence here that we'll have him back," Kelly explained. "Our medical people have done their due diligence. We want to be sure to give everyone a chance to weigh in on this matter." 

Per ESPN stats, Hamilton leads the team with three interceptions on the campaign. 

Walter Football and multiple CBS Sports analysts all list Hamilton as a top-10 pick for the 2022 NFL Draft. 

"Hamilton shows the versatility to play free safety or strong safety, to serve as the eighth man in the box, and or to handle man coverage on tight ends," Charlie Campbell of Walter Football notes. "The only role he should not be assigned is playing man on slot receivers, but he is a tough run defender who has excellent instincts in pass coverage. Hamilton has intelligence, good vision, and superb closing speed. He has the potential to be an excellent NFL safety." 

Zac Wassink is a football and futbol aficionado who is a PFWA member and is probably yelling about Tottenham Hotspur at the moment. Erik Lamela and Eli Manning apologist. Chanted for Matt Harvey to start the ninth inning of Game 5 of the 2015 World Series at Citi Field. Whoops. You can find him on Twitter at @ZacWassink

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