Report: Penn State linebacker Kline could miss 2014 season

A Penn State University logo on the side of a merchandise trailer. (AP photo)

Penn State's lack of depth at linebacker took a huge hit with a report that redshirt junior linebacker Ben Kline had suffered a torn Achilles tendon during a workout and is likely out for the entire 2014 season.

The report was first made Tuesday night by the Lions247 website. A Penn State spokesman said Wednesday he had no information on Kline, and coach James Franklin has said he will not discuss injuries.

The 6-foot-2, 238-pound Kline, who was listed as a starter at outside linebacker at the end of the spring, played in only six games last season because of injuries to his shoulder and chest. His best game came Nov. 2 against Illinois when he made a career-high nine tackles.

Kline sat out spring practice as a precautionary measure.

With Kline out, the Nittany Lions have just three linebackers - Mike Hull, Nyeem Wartman and Brandon Bell (Oakcrest) - who have seen appreciable playing time at the position. Bell worked his way into the lineup last season as a freshman after a rash of injuries to linebackers.

After those three, however, the backup players have little or no experience at the position. Redshirt sophomore Gary Wooten, a special-teams standout, enjoyed a good spring and could find a way into the rotation. Two incoming freshmen, Jason Cabinda and Troy Reeder, will get a shot to earn playing time.

--Joe Juliano

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