STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (WHTM) — Penn State’s defensive tackle PJ Mustipher will miss the rest of the 2021 season, according to James Franklin at Wednesday’s practice. The senior left the game against Iowa on the first drive for the Hawkeyes and never returned.
The 6-foot-4, 326-pound lineman was on the sidelines for the rest of the game using crutches. He was replaced by D’Von Ellies for the rest of the Iowa game; Penn State suffered its first loss of the season 23-20 in Iowa City.
“PJ will be out for the season,” Franklin said. “I thought the guys that went in behind did some good things. Obviously PJ, we think, is an elite-level player, so they still got work to do. But I thought overall those guys did some good things.”
BREAKING: James Franklin says PJ Mustipher is out for the season.— Logan Reever (@loganreever) October 13, 2021
Also would not go into detail on QB Sean Clifford’s injury but says “it’s not uncommon for quarterbacks.” #PennState
Franklin does not usually comment on injuries, unless a player will be out for the rest of the season. He did not, however, specify what Mustipher’s season-ending injury was exactly.
The Penn State captain started 15 straight games for Penn State and so far totaled 21 tackles (three for loss) plus one sack.
Mustipher played a critical role for this Penn State defense that has always had strong leadership on the defensive line. His ability to transform his body and excel at his position has also been widely talked about coming into the 2021 season.
“He dominated the conditioning test; could’ve probably passed it with the linebackers,” Franklin said. “I think his wrestling background has been huge for him. His mental and physical toughness is phenomenal. He’s got a great motor. He understands leverage. I love him. I’m a huge fan of PJ.”
Penn State (5-1) is currently on a bye week, and is set to host Illinois on Saturday, Oct. 23 at noon. The game will be broadcast on abc27 with a special pregame show live from outside Beaver Stadium starting at 11:30 a.m. with the abc27 sports team.