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Penn State Football: Health of 4 Players Upgraded

by on September 25, 2012 7:04 AM

Penn State's early season injury list appears close to rapidly shrinking, and a depleted running back position should be as close to full strength since the season opener Sept. 1 against Ohio.

Penn State released its weekly game notes Monday night. On it is the injury report, and the health of four players has been upgraded, and two more are also expected to play Saturday at Illinois (noon kick).

Running backs Bill Belton (ankle) and Derek Day (shoulder) and left tackle Donovan Smith (ankle) have all been upgraded to probable. Defensive end Pete Massaro (shoulder, knee) was upgraded to possible. In previous weeks, they've been listed as possible, or, in Massaro's case, out.

Sean Stanley, held out of the 24-13 victory against Temple for precautionary reasons because of back spasms, is listed as probable, as is running back Mike Zordich, who left Saturday's game in the second half with a bruised left knee.

Freshman linebacker Nyeem Wartman (knee sprain, bone bruise) will miss his third straight game.

Smith is listed as the first-team left tackle on this week's depth chart, Zordich the fullback, and Stanley the defensive end opposite redshirt freshman Deion Barnes. Smith has yet to complete a full game and should help a run game ranked 94th nationally just as much as the return of the team's top two tailbacks coming out of preseason practice.

Sophomore Adrian Amos is listed as a starter at cornerback and is not listed on the injury report, a sign that the hit he took to the head in the second half of Saturday's game was not cause for much concern.

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Nate Mink covers Penn State football and news for He's on Twitter as @MinkNate.
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