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Penn State has the week off, but we have seen a whirlwind of events transpire these past few days, especially on the injury side of the Nittany Lions. Penn State has been lucky enough to have a very limited injury report this season. However, that wasn’t the case last weekend against Iowa.
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Let’s start with the focal point of this Nittany Lions offense, Sean Clifford. Clifford helped lead Penn State to a 17-3 lead until he went down after a hard hit by Iowa linebacker Jack Campbell, which completely shifted the momentum of the game. Clifford came out on the field in the second half in street clothes, and many figured that wasn’t good news for their starting quarterback. Backup quarterback Ta’Quan Roberson entered the game and the offense just couldn’t find their groove. Roberson struggled, but he was also thrown into a bad situation.
So, what is Clifford’s status? Franklin did not give any updates at halftime during the game, and he had mentioned that injuries is something he doesn’t take too well, as, for any coach, it’s tough to see your players go through it. There is not much information out right now and Clifford has mentioned that he is “doing everything he can to get back on the field”.
Franklin has not mentioned who will be the starting quarterback for their next matchup at home against Illinois. It seems like it will likely be monitored as to when Penn State’s quarterback will make his return.
AP Photo/Barry Reeger
PJ Mustipher being out for the season is a huge blow to Penn State’s run defense, who ranked 29th out of all FBS schools in the nation. Mustipher was the heart and souls of that Penn State defense who was having a career year before suffering a season-ending injury against Iowa, recording 21 total tackles and a sack. Franklin did have positive things to say about the contributions from the backups. Penn State will have a few options to work with in place of the injured Mustipher that includes D’Von Ellies, who was given more time against Iowa. Duke transfer Derrick Tangelo could also help fill the void.
Other Notable Injuries
AP Photo/Adam Hunger
KeAndre Lambert-Smith – Smith left the Iowa game early with an injury and was replaced by Cam Sullivan-Brown.
Secondary – There was a fluctuation of injuries that sparked the secondary of Penn State throughout their game against Iowa. Backup cornerback Johnny Dixon saw time on the field in replace of Joey Porter Jr. and Tariq Castro-Fields at different points throughout the game.
Another backup in Keaton Ellis entered the game for Jaquan Brisker, who also left the game due to an injury.