D’Anton Lynn entered Saturday’s game against Purdue, his first since a scary injury sidelined him three weeks before, hoping to go full-speed and play like his normal self.
But it’s only natural after an injury – maybe even more so after one like Lynn’s – that a player might be a bit hesitant in his first action back.
After all, some wondered if Lynn’s playing career was in jeopardy when he was strapped to a backboard and carted off the field in the third quarter of Penn State’s Sept. 24 win over Eastern Michigan. Luckily, Lynn ended up all right. He missed only two games with a concussion.
“Sometimes, I’d make contact (on Saturday) and it’d just be like in the back of my mind,” he said Wednesday. “I was just a little more timid than normal. But once I got that first good hit, I felt like everything was fine."
That hit didn’t come until the fourth quarter, but Lynn said it made him forget that the injury ever happened. As soon as he tackled Purdue running back Ralph Bolden, he said he became more relaxed. With the mental hurdle passed, Lynn said he is “100 percent fine” going into the Nittany Lions’ final five regular season games.
As for his memories of the injury, Lynn said he remembers pretty much everything aside from the actual helmet-to-helmet play.
“I was kind out of it and I just couldn’t move my arms so I was kind of freaked out,” he said.
Following the injury, for which he was taken to Mount Nittany Medical Center and released later that day, Lynn said he was able to return sooner than originally thought. He said he doesn’t think the training staff anticipated him back until the Northwestern game this Saturday.
“Once I got all my tests results back and I talked to the doctors, I knew that I would play again,” Lynn said. “I didn’t know how long I’d be out. They thought it would be longer than what it was. So I’m just grateful that the process was faster than they thought and I was able to get back out there this past week.”