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Penn State Football: Franklin Optimistic That Barkley Will Be Healthy For Big Ten Title Game

by on November 27, 2016 5:00 PM

Update on Sunday: 

James Franklin had this to say about Barkley's status for the Big Ten title game while speaking to reporters on Sunday.

“We’re confident he’s playing,” Franklin said. “But for me to tell you right now how he’s looking … we haven’t even had our team meeting or staff meeting to go over personnel with the trainers. But I communicated with Saquon last night and communicated with Saquon this morning,” the coach added. “We’re expecting him to play.”

Original Story:

James Franklin didn't offer any insight into the status of star sophomore running back Saquon Barkley after Saturday night's 45-12 victory over Michigan State.

Barkley left the game late in the third quarter with what appeared to be an injury to his right ankle or foot area. The 1,000 yard rusher didn't reenter the game and could be seen sitting on the training table without his right shoe before finally leaving the field as the clock expired.

As expected, Franklin was vague about Barkley's status moving froward.

"Obviously you have to ask but I'm not going to say anything about Saquon," Franklin said. "He'll have a great week and prepare this week based on what I know. We've done a great job and I think Coach Huff has done a great job of developing the running backs that we have."

With Penn State headed to Indianapolis this weekend for the Big Ten Championship game, it seems unlikely that Barkley's status will be revealed before then. Traditionally the media is allowed to watch the final 10-minutes of practice during Wednesday but practice availabilities have yet to be released as of Saturday night.

If Barkley, who missed two and half games last season with an ankle injury is backed by Andre Robinson, Mark Allen and freshman Miles Sanders. Robinson scored twice Saturday in the fourth quarter, once on a 13-yard carry and again with a 40-yard reception for 72 total yards of offense. That performance is coming off of a six carry, 20-yard and one score performance in limited action against Rutgers.

Miles Sanders has largely been limited to kickoff return duties but has 21 carries for 179 yards so far this season. Allen has 26 carries for 107 yards on the ground.

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