Huge blow on Amin Vanover and JB Nelson injury ahead of Indiana

Injuries at Ohio State left James Franklin’s Nittany Lions with an inadequate number of men in the trenches. It is unclear if they will be playing at full strength against Indiana on Saturday.

What’s good for Penn State, really? Franklin informed the media following Wednesday’s practice in State College that starting guard JB Nelson is “fully available” to play this weekend against the Hoosiers.

With an injury, Nelson, who had started four of Penn State’s opening five games, had to be carted off on September 30 at Northwestern. Despite Franklin’s assurances that Nelson could see the field in Columbus last week, Nelson did not play against UMass or Ohio State.

Nelson was “available to play” against Ohio State, according to Franklin, but only in an emergency. Vega Ioane took his place at the beginning of the game and didn’t switch out for Nelson.

Franklin clarified, “JB didn’t get a ton of reps during the week because he was coming off an injury.” “We viewed it more as an emergency, really. Had someone been injured, he would have entered the match. However, after discussing reps with the coaches, we concluded that Ioane’s weekly workload was the better choice.

On the other side of the ball, defensive ends Amin Vanover and Chop Robinson, both veterans, suffered injuries for Penn State. On Tuesday, Franklin expressed hope that Robinson would return “soon.” The standout edge rusher collided with an Ohio State lineman and had to be carted off.

The team’s fourth defensive end, Vanover, was questioned about his status on Wednesday, and Franklin responded. Franklin stated that “it’s too early to tell” if Vanover will play this weekend and that Nelson’s circumstances at Ohio State might force a “game-time decision.”

Franklin stated, “And even then, there will be a decision that needs to be made, depending on how much work he gets during the week.” “How experienced a player is also a factor, in my opinion, based on the amount of football they have played and the amount of practice time they have missed. That also has an impact.

You can anticipate seeing Dani Dennis-Sutton start opposite Adisa Isaac if Robinson and Vanover are unable to suit up. Jameial Lyons might come in after redshirt junior Zuriah Fisher as the third option.

Lyons is a Roman Catholic true freshman who has played in two games so far this season. He was a potential “yellow light” redshirt. However, given the uncertainty surrounding Robinson and Vanover’s status, he may need to play more games during the regular season than the four required.

Penn State safety King Mack runs a receiving drill during practice on Oct. 25, 2023.
Joe Hermitt |


Lyons, who impressed teammates and the coaching staff since enrolling, had a dominant sack against Delaware, so there’s a good chance he’ll play this weekend against Indiana.

“Are you playing high school or transfer players in specific packages, or are they prepared to handle everything?” We were going to use Jameial in specific packages early on, not the entire thing, Franklin stated. But as the season progresses, you hope that you’re at a point where he can handle more at this point. He has therefore had excellent work this week.

“Hopefully, he’ll get the chance to play on Saturday and make the most of it. In both practice and the games he has participated in, he has experienced some flashes. There is a buzz surrounding him.

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