Sean Clifford practices but James Franklin encourages QB competition for backups

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Coming off there by week, there is a lot of uncertainty surrounding the quarterback position at Penn State as Sean Clifford continues to work through an injury suffered against Iowa. And while the jury is still out on whether or not Clifford may be available this weekend for Penn State’s homecoming game with Illinois, it is clear that head coach James Franklin is using the opportunity to open up a bit of a competition for playing time in any possible absence of Clifford.

“We’re going to split the reps between TaQuan [Roberson] and [Christian] Veilleux,” Franklin said on how Penn State is splitting practice reps between his two backup quarterback options behind Clifford.

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Roberson was the backup option called don two weeks ago against Iowa after Clifford was removed from the game midway through the second quarter due to an undisclosed injury. Roberson did not perform very well, but he was also thrown into an incredibly tough spot on the road in a difficult environment against an Iowa defense that smelled blood in the water.

But if Clifford is not available this week, Roberson may have to prove he is worthy of the opportunity to Franklin and offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich in practice.

“Someone asked me, will it be a competition? I think it’s always a competition but it’s probably magnified a little bit,” Franklin said during his weekly press conference. “We’re looking at those guys real closely in practice.”

Perhaps the good news for Penn State fans on Wednesday was Clifford was spotted at practice taking part in some passing drills.

It is unknown what Clifford’s status will be throughout the week, and we may not know an answer to this one until kickoff at noon eastern on Saturday.

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