Penn State defensive end stops playing due to back issue

Penn State football coach Bill O'Brien. (Gene J. Puskar/AP)

The Penn State football program announced Wednesday on its Twitter account that defensive end Jordan Kerner has decided to end his playing career because of a back injury, but will stay with the team in some capacity.

The Altoona Mirror reported that Kerner, a 6-foot-4, 239-pound redshirt freshman from Fairview, Pa., has a bulging disc in his lower back. Kerner told the newspaper that doctors advised him against playing because he risked further injury and discomfort later in life.

Kerner redshirted his freshman year and did not play in 2012 because of the injury.

Kerner is the third player to stop playing for the Nittany Lions since the end of last season. Tailback Curtis Dukes and linebacker Brennan Franklin did not return to school for the spring semester.

--Joe Juliano