Penn State defensive end Chop Robinson has been regarded as one of the best defensive linemen in the nation this season. This is why his departure from last week’s game at Ohio State after taking a blow to the head was especially noteworthy. After leaving and not returning last week in Columbus, head coach James Franklin remains uncertain what the status of Robinson may be this weekend against Indiana.
Franklin said this week he hopes to see Robinson return sooner rather than later, but there has been no public comment on whether sooner could be as soon as this weekend in Beaver Stadium.
Obviously, when it comes to head trauma, there is more caution than ever before in the history of the sport of football. And while cameras caught some potentially disturbing results following his collision last weekend, it is always better to play things as safely as possible before rushing any player back on the field. The Big Ten also has pretty strong concussion procedures to help ensure no player is back on the field when they probably should not be.
Franklin did note he does not believe Robinson’s medical concern will be of the season-ending variety. That is always positive news.
If Robinson is not available, as most seem to believe will ultimately be the case, expect Penn State to bump Dani Dennis-Sutton into the starting role for the week. But also expect some opportunities for freshman Jamieal Lyons to get involved. This weekend would be his fourth appearance, the last before exhausting a redshirt season of eligibility for this season.
It also helps that Penn State should be able to get by this week without one of their top defensive players. Penn State hosts Indiana this weekend. Both teams are coming off a loss, and Penn State should be able to use the home cooking to get back on track against a Hoosiers program that is 0-4 in Big Ten play this season and just 2-5 overall. Indiana’s only two wins this season have come against Indiana State, an FCS school, and Akron, by two points in overtime.
Indiana has been outscored 44-17 at Maryland, 52-7 at Michigan, and 31-14 at home against Rutgers coming into this weekend’s matchup with the Nittany Lions. So Penn State’s defense should be in good shape, and the offense could have the stage set for a nice confidence boost after last week’s demoralizing performance.
Some positive injury updates?
There is good news for Penn State’s injury report, however. Offensive guard JB Nelson may be fully available this week after having his own medical scare a few weeks back at Northwestern. He may even get the start at guard this week.
Amin Vanover could possibly return to the field this weekend as well. Vanover also left the Ohio State game with an injury last week. He is said to be a game-day decision for the Nittany Lions.
Penn State hosts Indiana on Saturday, Oct. 28 at 12:00 p.m. ET on CBS.