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Paterno: Lynn May Exercise Again Soon; Stupar Will 'Have to Rise to the Occasion'

on September 27, 2011 1:32 PM

Penn State football cornerback D'Anton Lynn, hurt during the Eastern Michigan game on Saturday, may begin working out again as soon as Thursday, Coach Joe Paterno said Tuesday.

But it's doubtful that Lynn will be on the field this weekend when the Nittany Lions play Indiana in Bloomington, according to team reports.

"Even though they may let (Lynn) go (work out) Thursday, they tested him again for a concussion yesterday," Paterno said at his weekly press conference.

"Thank goodness," he said, "the prognosis is not as severe as (what) we were scared to death of."

Lynn was taken from the field Saturday on a back board, then transported to Mount Nittany Medical Center. His head, neck and spinal cord were examined there, according to the university athletic department.

Paterno didn't delve Tuesday into too many details of Lynn's condition. Also hurt Saturday was starting outside linebacker Michael Mauti, who tore an ACL and will be sidelined for the rest of the season.

The coach said Mauti has been a team leader -- and that his absence means Nate "Stupar has to come out front.

"Stupar has played well when he's been in, and he'll have to rise to the occasion, as will the other kids," Paterno said.

Asked to elaborate about how the team will adjust to Mauti's absence, Paterno said he thinks some younger players can step in.

"I think (Penn State lineman Devon) Still is one of the better linemen in the country; makes a lot of plays; demands, in some cases, some double-teaming by the offense," Paterno said.

He also pointed to safety Drew Astorino as an example of leadership on the team.

"As I've said from Day One, our biggest problem is anticipating what we see so we can make some more plays," Paterno said. "I'm still not comfortable that we can go out there and grab a couple of passes and make a couple of things happen for ourselves. But I don't think it'll be because we don't have Mauti or we don't have Lynn. I think we do have some kids who can do it.

"It's just a question now -- you tell me what it takes to get that done. I don't know," Paterno went on. " ... We're struggling a little bit along those lines, but it (won't) be because of the leadership we lose in Mauti and Lynn."

All that having been said, Paterno said he thought Penn State "caught the ball a little better" in the Eastern Michigan game than it did in the Alabama game, earlier in the month. He said the team has "made some strides" but has "a long way to go yet to be ... not only as good as we can be, but as good as we have to be."

Paterno also said the 2011 team has been "a little bit easier to coach" than last year's team was. "They've been a little bit more committed. They have a little bit more ... maturity. I think, overall, they have a chance to be a good football team."

Asked if he were aware that the Indiana match-up will mark his 700th game as a member of the Penn State coaching staff, Paterno said he was not.

"Well, I've done my penance," he said. "I've had 700 press conferences."

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