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Injury concerns emerge for Penn State offensive lineman

Injury concerns for Penn State offensive lineman Landon Tengwall have emerged following comments from James Franklin on Monday. Who will the Nittany Lions turn to if he is unable to go?

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Penn State Football, Penn State offensive lineman, Landon Tengwall, James Franklin
Sep 17, 2022; Auburn, Alabama, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions head coach James Franklin celebrates with offensive lineman Landon Tengwall (58) after a touchdown during the second quarter against the Auburn Tigers at Jordan-Hare Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John Reed-USA TODAY Sports

Nearing the midway point of fall camp, the injury bug has already struck Penn State football at several spots on the defensive side of the ball. Recent reports have indicated that the Nittany Lions have lost key depth pieces along the defensive front in Smith Vilbert and Alonzo Ford for the season. Now, questions are emerging over the health of Penn State offensive lineman Landon Tengwall following comments from James Franklin after the Nittany Lions’ practice on Monday evening.

James Franklin comments on injury status of offensive lineman Landon Tengwall

On Monday evening, James Franklin addressed the media following Penn State’s weekly practice availability. During this session, Franklin commented on the availability of Penn State offensive lineman Landon Tengwall, who has been absent from the previous two practice viewing periods. Franklin’s comments, later picked up by the Daily Collegian, On3, and 247Sports, among others, indicate that Tengwall is dealing with some minor injuries.

“Landon’s got some bumps and bruises he’s dealing with right now,” Franklin told the assembled press. “As you guys know, I don’t get into injuries.”

Franklin’s comments wouldn’t be too concerning if it wasn’t for Tengwall’s previous injury history. As a redshirt freshman, Tengwall started five games in 2022. He was scratched from the lineup before the Michigan game last fall, and missed the remainder of the season due to injury. Tengwall also appeared in three games as a true freshman in 2021.

Where will Penn State turn if Tengwall is unable to go in Week 1?

When Landon Tengwall was knocked out for the season in 2022, Hunter Nourzad primarily filled in for Penn State at the left guard position. But with Nourzad’s move to center this offseason, an opening will be created along the Nittany Lion front if Tengwall cannot play at points this year.

The two primary candidates at the position would be redshirt junior JB Nelson and redshirt freshman Vega Ioane. Both Nelson and Ioane appeared in four games for Penn State last year. Tengwall competed with the two linemen for the starting left guard spot during spring practice. It’s not out of the question that Nelson or Ioane could have stepped up to take the starting job during fall camp, even if Tengwall was healthy.

Penn State comes into the 2023 season with perhaps the best offensive line of the James Franklin era. But as the Nittany Lions learned last fall, injuries can come quick and often in the trenches. Having as many healthy pieces as possible up front will be critical if Penn State football is to make a run at the Big Ten title this season.



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Matt is a Co-owner and Editor in Chief of Basic Blues Nation. Launched in 2022, Basic Blues Nation is one of the fastest-growing websites covering all Penn State athletics, with over 3.5 million readers in 2023. Matt is also a credentialed member of the Penn State football beat, and is a member of the Football Writers Association of America.

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