Sam Hartman ear
Screenshot from ABC

Sam Hartman Won't Let a Bloody Ear Keep Him From Playing

No one is allowed to question Notre Dame quarterback Sam Hartman's toughness.

Notre Dame is not off to an ideal start in their third straight ranked primetime battle, as they went down 7-0 at Louisville in the first quarter. Transfer quarterback Sam Hartman threw his first interception of the season on the game's first drive and was sacked twice by the Cardinal pass rush. The beating is taking a toll on the Irish quarterback, as the sixth-year signal-caller was shown bleeding from the ear on the sideline. The ABC broadcast crew reported the injury as a 'swollen and bloody ear'.

It's certainly an odd injury. Although unclear when it happened, Hartman took several big hits in the first quarter, including a pair of sacks during the Irish's lethargic offensive start. It seems likely that one of those shots was responsible for bloodying Hartman's ear.

As of now, the injury is not keeping Hartman off the field, but with the offense already off to a slow start, Notre Dame needs to hope their star quarterback can play through that pain and a little bit of blood. One Irish beat reporter noted that backup quarterback Steve Angeli, a true sophomore with zero starts, was warming up extensively on the sideline.

After the injury was first shown, Hartman delivered his best drive of the day, leading the Irish 88 yards on 11 plays to tie the score, 7-7. Hartman tossed a 36-yard dot of a scoring strike to punctuate the drive.

It was a big response for the veteran quarterback, who looks to play through a unique injury in a hostile atmosphere tonight. The Irish in the midst of a four-game stretch of primetime games, all against ranked opponents. They lost to Ohio State two weeks ago before surviving Duke a week ago. The Irish didn't score on either of their first two drives and need to get something going in order to avoid an upset at the hands of the Cardinals.

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