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Penn State Football: Johnson Status Uncertain For Saturday Against Iowa

by on October 23, 2018 4:45 PM

After missing the second half with an undisclosed injury against Indiana this past Saturday, Penn State receiver Juwan Johnson is day-to-day when it comes to playing this weekend, according to James Franklin.

“We were hoping to get him back in the game on Saturday, but we weren’t able to do that,” Franklin said during his Tuesday media session. “Me and Juwan have been going back and forth for the last 48 hours. I talked to the trainers and got their feelings on it, but then I think it’s also interesting to hear what the players say themselves, what their temperament is about it.”

“He’s pretty confident that he’s going to be back.. But it’s early in the week, so we’ll see.”

While Franklin's somewhat boilerplate injury update sounded hopeful, an answer to an earlier question about Penn State's young receivers certainly alluded to Johnson's return being less than certain.

“I talked to all three of those guys (Justin Shorter,Daniel George and slot receiver Jahan Dotson) on Sunday night after practice,” Franklin said. “This is going to be a big week for them.”

Johnson is second on the team with 21 receptions for 293 yards, but a drop-filled 2018 coupled with a lack of consistent explosive plays has turned the senior's season into more of a collection of "what ifs" rather than highlights. Although this past Saturday a 59-yard catch and run was a highpoint along with his spectacular one-handed catch against Ohio State a few weeks prior.

Cam Sullivan-Brown was first off the bench in the absence of Johnson last weekend catching back-to-back passes early in the half. Dotson also recorded his first collegiate reception not long thereafter. Shorter has yet to see meaningful action after the former national No.1 overall freshman receiving prospect entered the season "dinged up," per Franklin.

With or without Johnson, Penn State will have its hands full as a grueling three-game slate against Iowa, Michigan and Wisconsin begins this Saturday.

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