The injury report for tomorrow's season opener doesn't look as bad as last year, but it does have some important players that will certainly be missed. Only four players (three scholarship players) are listed on the official Injury Report, but there are others banged up, and we'll try to cover them all. If you see someone missing, let us know.
The Official Report (per Penn State press release)
- Curtis Drake, WR (leg) - Drake has battled leg injuries for some time now, including a clean break and a calcium deficiency. He's been working hard in the offseason and is rumored to be close to a return, but doesn't need to rush to get in against Indiana State. His healthy presence against Alabama would add another playmaker in the slot.
- Garry Gilliam, TE (knee) - Gilliam tore his ACL against Iowa last year and is out for the season, barring some speedy recovery.
- Pete Massaro, DE (knee) - This is the one offseason injury that hurts the most. He missed 2009 with an ACL injury to his right knee, and then tore the ACL in his left knee in March. He's out for 2011 and is a good candidate for a sixth year of eligibility should he pursue one next year.
- Pat Zerbe, FB (knee) - A redshirt sophomore from West Lawn, PA who had made the kickoff return team this year, Zerbe tore at least his ACL (and possibly his MCL) in his right knee a couple of weeks ago. He's done for the year.
Elsewhere (per Tuesday Press Conferences)
Non-Injury, Non-Playing News:
- Anthony Fera, K (head) - Fera earned a return trip to the Paterno Doghouse with a second alcohol related citation in as many years. He's out until further notice.
- Stephfon Green, RB (tantrum, other) - Green ran into a sort of moral dilemma this year when it became blatantly clear that Silas Redd was the No. 1 running back. This realization, coupled with some off-field issues, led Green to leave the team. He was coaxed back by his teammates' plea to Paterno, but will likely sit out a few games as punishment.
- Paul Jones, QB (academics) - The No. 3 QB heading into the summer has been ruled academically ineligible for the 2011 season.
- Larry Johnson, Sr. (weight?) - Apparently LJSr. has been packing on a couple extra pounds. That, or he is trying to set a good example for his players. Either way, Johnson is eating healthier this year, according to one news outlet.
- Evan Hailes, DL (blood clots) - Hailes has been battling blood clot issues for awhile now, which apparently spread from his leg to his lung. It's a six month process according to Larry Johnson, and I'm not sure where Evan is at in that process.
- Andrew Szczerba, TE (back) - Speaking from experience, back injuries are very difficult to recover from, and even if you're ruled healthy, it is easy to tweak the injury again, potentially seriously. Szczerba has been admittedly slow in recovering from his bout with back problems, so hopefully he is 100%.
- Zach Zwinak, FB (knee) - Zwinak is still rehabbing his torn ACL from 10 months ago. Given a healthy, reliable depth chart ahead of him, there is no need to rush Zwinak back.
- Glenn Carson, MLB (knee) - A slightly tweaked knee was enough to keep Carson out for a couple of practices, but shouldn't keep him out of any major action.
- Silas Redd, RB (knee) - Like Carson, Redd dealt with a minor leg injury last week that allowed Brandon Beachum to see some quality reps with the ones. But also like Carson, he shouldn't miss any meaning time in the first half against ISU.
Non-Injury, Playing News
- Jack Crawford, DE - The "American football" player is 100% back from offseason foot surgery. We'll see tomorrow if that means he can actually get a decent rush on a quarterback.
- Eric Latimore, DE - Lattimore had a hand injury slow him down last year, but is also back at the DE spot, ready for 2011. He also gives us a great quote to end on:
You still get some jitters right before the first game, it is that time of year, but its weird because this is the last go around. It feels like the last season just ended, but I am excited to get back out there.