Posted by Adam Jacobi
If Penn State's going to make a resurgence in Big Ten play this year, it's probably going to have to do so through the strength of its defense. Unfortunately, PSU may be without two of its premier defenders for a good portion of the season.
According to CBSSports.com's Penn State RapidReporter Jim Rodenbush, LB Michael Mauti has left Penn State's game against Eastern Michigan with an apparent left knee injury. Mauti suffered the injury in the first quarter, and quite ominously, it was a non-contact injury. Mauti has had his knee heavily iced on the sideline, and he is not expected to return to today's game.
To make matters worse, star cornerback D'Anton Lynn suffered an apparent neck injury in the third quarter. Lynn had to be immobilized and carted off, and trainers were seen checking the feeling in Lynn's extremities while he was on the field. Needless to say, any time the neck is involved in an injury, it's a frightening situation and the trainers have to take every precaution to ensure Lynn's safety.
For Mauti, the news is just about as bad as it could be; the injury is a torn left ACL, according to Bob Flounders, and that's obviously a season-ender. It's also Mauti's second torn ACL in the last three seasons, as he missed the 2009 season with a right ACL tear. All in all, the injury is a tough break for Penn State. Mauti is a preseason All-Big Ten player, and he was on the Butkus Award watch list coming into the season. Nate Stupar is in for Mauti now, and Stupar saw plenty of starting time last season, but he is still a drop off from Mauti.
There is some good news, however; Lynn has movement in all of his extremities, and although he remains hospitalized, that is merely for precautionary purposes, and he is expected to be fine. The precise diagnosis of Lynn's injury is still not known.