SOUTH BEND – Notre Dame linebacker Danny Spond's career is over.
The 6-foot-1, 248-pound senior told the team Saturday that he will no longer play football, coach Brian Kelly said.
"It was an emotional decision, and it didn't come without a lot of thought," Kelly said after practice Saturday. "He spent the day speaking to a lot of specialists and his family was here. This was not a decision that came easy. He loves his teammates. But what's most important is he did what's in his best interest for the future. He's got a bright future."
Spond missed the first two games of last season after a severe migraine, which paralyzed the left side of his body, kept him out of most of last fall's preseason camp.
Spond returned in Week 3 and started the last 11 games of 2012 at outside linebacker. He had 39 tackles with 3½ tackles for loss last season.
Kelly said Spond's family will release a statement next week to explain why he will no longer play football. Spond was at practice Saturday and walked with the assistance of a cane.
Spond will remain with the team, Kelly said, and help Ben Councell and former Bishop Luers star Jaylon Smith adjust to the position.
"Who's better qualified to give his experience to help us with Jaylon and Ben?" Kelly said. "He got a chance to talk to the team today. He's beloved by everybody on the team. He has a special place on our football team."
Spond wasn't the only injury Kelly had to report Saturday.
Former Bishop Dwenger star Tony Springmann, a defensive lineman, will not play in the season opener against Temple on Aug. 31. For that story, click here.
The Irish also lost freshman linebacker Doug Randolph for the season to a shoulder injury. Kelly said Randolph will have corrective surgery next week.
Running back Will Mahone could also miss the season opener because of a high ankle sprain, Kelly said.
Mahone wore large brace on his right leg and his foot was in a walking boot Saturday.
"The high ankle sprain is one where it is usually three to four days before you really know the length of it," Kelly said. "He moved around pretty good this morning in the pool. We will find out a little bit more."
Starting left guard Chris Watt and offensive lineman Conor Hanratty did not practice Saturday, but Kelly said neither is danger yet of not being able to play against Temple. Steve Elmer took Watt's spot with the first-team offense during practice.
Running back Cam McDaniel didn't practice Saturday, and Kelly said freshman running back Tarean Folston was excused from practice because of a death in his family.