Friday, August 22, 2014
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Report: Penn State linebacker Kline could miss 2014 season

Ben Kline, a starting linebacker for Penn State at the end of spring practice, reportedly suffered a torn Achilles tendon and could miss the entire 2014 season.

Report: Penn State linebacker Kline could miss 2014 season

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

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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

 

About this blog
Joe Juliano has been a staff writer for The Inquirer for 20 years, covering college sports, golf and the Penn Relays.

This season is Joe's fourth season on the paper's Penn State beat. He previously covered the Nittany Lions for United Press International from 1976 to 1984.

Joe Juliano
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