Sean Clifford Is Practicing, But His Status Remains Unclear
A familiar face made an appearance at Penn State football’s practice on Wednesday.
Quarterback Sean Clifford, who left the Nittany Lions’ most recent game with an undisclosed injury, was out on the practice field at Holuba Hall Wednesday afternoon.
When the media attended practice last week, Clifford was notably absent. But according to head coach James Franklin, Wednesday wasn’t the first time Clifford took the practice field since suffering the injury against Iowa.
“Today was not the first day that Sean’s been able to throw,” Franklin said.
So, what does this mean for Clifford’s availability moving forward? Well, that’s still unclear.
“Not sure at this stage,” Franklin said. “All three of [the quarterbacks] took reps. A third, a third, a third. We’ll see. I don’t know at this stage, but we’ll see where he’s at by Saturday. Hopefully, obviously, we’ll have an idea before that, but it was good to see him be able to get some reps today at practice, and all three of them were able to.”
Earlier this week, Franklin said backup quarterbacks Ta’Quan Roberson and freshman Christian Veilleux were splitting reps with the Nittany Lions’ first-team offense. Although Clifford remains the bonafide starter when healthy, it’s clear there’s an ongoing battle to determine the signal-callers’ next man up.
“We want to try to make sure, like we always do, that the guys who are going to play the most reps in the game, the starters, are getting the majority of the reps,” Franklin continued. “That’s hard to say right now.”
Of course, it was redshirt sophomore Roberson who came in to relieve Clifford in the second quarter against Iowa. If Clifford were to miss Saturday’s game against Illinois, one would think Roberson be the favorite to start.
For now, we’ll need to wait and see when Clifford can retake the field after recovering from his still-undisclosed injury — one Franklin said was common among quarterbacks. Although the highly ranked No. 7 Nittany Lions could probably top Illinois without their starting quarterback, Clifford would likely be needed to match up with No. 5 Ohio State on October 30.
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