Thursday, December 2

Is Sean Clifford playing this week? What is the state of Penn State QB before the game of Illinois?



There’s been a lot of talk about whether Penn State would have bothered then … No. 2 Two weeks ago, Iowa had Nittany Lions senior quarterback Sean Clifford play the entire game.

He didn’t, and Penn State lost 23-20, its only loss of the season to date.

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Clifford left the game in the second quarter and did not play in the second half after taking a big hit. However, he was not the only Penn State player to be injured during the game.

The Nittany Lions lost defensive tackle PJ Mustipher during the season and other players on defense were injured and returned at various points.

The injuries accumulated to the point where Iowa fans began booing injured Penn State players, thinking they were faking injuries. After the game, and for several days afterward, Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz and James Franklin of Penn State traded criticism with the press about it.

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Whether that happened or not, Clifford was injured and was replaced by Ta’Quan Roberson. The Nittany Lions had a break last week and will face Illinois at home on Saturday for their homecoming game.

Here’s what to know about the Penn State quarterback when the Illini arrive at Beaver Stadium in Week 8.

What was Sean Clifford’s injury?

Penn State head coach James Franklin didn’t explicitly say what was making Clifford sick, but the quarterback was holding his back as he walked into the locker room after taking a big hit.

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Franklin’s policy is to comment on injury details only if they finish the season. With Clifford, he offered an idea even if he didn’t make a full comment. The eighth-year Nittany Lions coach said Clifford was “receiving treatment“from the medical team in an effort to return as soon as possible.

What’s Sean Clifford’s status for Saturday?

As of his last media availability on Wednesday, Franklin wasn’t sure if Clifford would be back in time for Saturday’s game.

“I don’t know at this point, but we’ll see where he is on Saturday,” Franklin said. he told reporters after Wednesday’s practice. “Hopefully, obviously, we’ll have an idea before that. But it was good to see him being able to do some reps today in practice.”

Franklin also confirmed that Wednesday was not Clifford’s first day back from practice and that he had been taking reps all week.

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“With Sean, he has shown his toughness over the years, both physically and mentally,” Franklin said. “Doing everything possible to put him in the best position to come back ASAP, whenever that is.”

Franklin did not compromise in his answer. It appears that Clifford’s status may remain uncertain until the start of Saturday.

Who starts if Clifford is out?

Clifford, Roberson, and Christian Vellieux divided practice reps evenly this week, each getting a third of them. If Clifford can’t go, Roberson or Vellieux will start.

Roberson entered the season as the No. 2 clearing behind Clifford, but the red-shirted sophomore struggled in his first extended action. He completed just 7 of 21 passes for 34 yards and threw two interceptions against Iowa.

Vellieux hasn’t seen any collegiate action since arriving at Happy Valley, although the freshman impressed at this week’s practice and closed the gap, something Franklin said shouldn’t have happened.

“If it’s close, it really shouldn’t be, right?” Franklin said. “The guy who’s been on the show for a long time and the guy who’s getting the most reps should be able to widen that gap and he’s a little close right now.”




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