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Injured Penn State Linebackers On Verge Of Returning

With No. 2 Ohio State coming to Beaver Stadium Saturday night, the Nittany Lion defense could be getting a huge shot in the arm.

Penn State may finally be getting some good news regarding its battered linebacker corps. And the timing could not be better, as No. 2 Ohio State visits Beaver Stadium Saturday night.

At his weekly press conference Wednesday, PSU coach James Franklin said three injured linebackers — starters Jason Cabinda and Brandon Bell, as well as backup Jake Cooper — could return for the game vs. the Buckeyes.

“There’s a chance we could get those guys back,” Franklin said.

Penn State does not reveal the nature of injuries. But Cabinda and Bell have been out since early in the season, and Cooper was lost in Week 5 vs. Minnesota.

The most important player there is likely Cabinda, the Mike LB who calls the plays for the defense.

“There’s a chance we could get Cabinda back this week,” Franklin said. “But we have to remember he hasn’t played football or practiced in a long time. … It’s gonna be a challenge. Same thing with Brandon Bell and Cooper.

“It’s not like last week they practiced and this week we hope to get them back. They haven’t practiced at all. … If they can go, as long as the doctors clear them, that will be a nice bonus.”

Penn State (4-2) is coming off a bye week.

In related news, Franklin said freshman punter Blake Gillikin has fully recovered from the injury that knocked him out of the Maryland game.

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