Penn State could be without starting running back Keyvone Lee this weekend as the Nittany Lions host Central Michigan in the fourth game of the season. Lee was injured during Penn State 41-12 win over Auburn last weekend but did return to action briefly during that game after leaving the field. Penn State coach James Franklin offered up a little bit of insight into Lee’s status on Wednesday evening following practice but was noncommittal regarding Lee’s availability.
“I’m not sure yet,” Franklin said when asked about Lee’s status for Week 4. “He was out here. But yeah, I’m not sure yet.”
Not that Lee’s injury is good news for Penn State but he has not been the most explosive of the bunch for the Nittany Lions racking up just 48 yards rushing so far on 14 carries. Lee also registered a fumble that was recovered by Penn State in some of his limited action against Auburn last weekend. In his stead Penn State will lean on the true freshman combo of Nick Singleton and Kaytron Allen as well as junior back Devyn Ford. The trio – especially the two freshmen – have proven their worth in a short span with Singleton breaking off long runs while Allen has shown skill between the tackles.
Penn State will face Lew Nichols this weekend, the nation’s leading rusher in 2021 that saw Nichols carry the ball 341 times for 1848 yards last year. So far this season Nichols has amassed 267 yards on 71 carries which is good enough for No. 37 in the nation. Singleton ranks No. 12 overall with an 111 yards per game average.
Lee’s injury is the second noteworthy ailment to Penn State’s offense this season. The first was tight end Theo Johnson who missed the first two games of Penn State’s season with an unspecified ailment. Johnson returned last weekend against Auburn but played sparingly in favor of tight ends Tyler Warren and Brenton Strange.