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Penn State Football: Barkley Fine After Close Call

by on November 20, 2016 10:40 AM

Penn State football had two goals on Saturday night: Beat Rutgers, and make it to the Michigan State game healthy.

The first was accomplished, but the second nearly didn't happen late in the third quarter on a cold and windy night in New Jersey.

With just over five minutes remaining in the third quarter Penn State star running back Saquon Barkley lay on the turf with his hands on his head. The crowd, which at that point was largely Penn State fans, immediately fell silent as their team's best player seemed to nurse what appeared to be a serious injury.

And then Barkley slowly rose to his feet with the help of trainers and walked off the field. He was attended to, given a coat and found a seat on the bench.

According to coach James Franklin, that's as far as the conversation went.

"Yea, Saquon is fine." Franklin said after the game. Barkley didn't enter the contest again following what appeared to be a shot to the head. Later pressed for more specifics, Franklin added that Barkley could have returned but the coaching staff opted not to play him with the game in hand.

While there is no reason to doubt Franklin, Penn State's head coach has long been fairly reserved about non-season ending injuries. But Barkley was only attended to for a short time on the sideline, going through what appeared to be preliminary concussion testing which didn't last long. Additionally, Barkley could be seen smiling on the sideline and looking as healthy as ever walking off the field after the game.

So for Penn State fans it appears the bullet has been dodged, and perhaps more importantly, Penn State's best player looks to be available for the Nittany Lions' biggest game of the year.

Ben Jones covers Penn State football and basketball for He's on Twitter as @Ben_Jones88.
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