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James Franklin Announces Major Penn State Injury News

Pat Freiermuth of the Penn State Nittany Lions scores a touchdown.

STATE COLLEGE, PA - SEPTEMBER 07: Pat Freiermuth #87 of the Penn State Nittany Lions catches a pass for a touchdown against the Buffalo Bulls during the second half at Beaver Stadium on September 07, 2019 in State College, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)

Penn State football's Pat Freiermuth is one of the nation's most talented college tight ends. He's had a true rollercoaster of a year, but it appears that his season is now over.

When it looked like the Big Ten may punt its season to the spring, there were it didn't look like Freiermuth would play, and might rather focus on preparation of the 2021 NFL Draft. He is expected to be one of the top tight ends in the draft when he enters.

He wound up choosing to return once the Big Ten made its decision to have an abbreviated fall season. In four games for the struggling Nittany Lions, he caught 23 passes for 210 yards and a touchdown. Unfortunately, his season, and potentially his Penn State football career, is over.

He reportedly suffered an injury against Ohio State a few weeks ago, the details of which have not yet been disclosed. He was not suited up for today's game against the Iowa Hawkeyes, a 41-21 loss for the team. After the game, head coach James Franklin announced that he will be getting season ending surgery next week.

“He’s going to have season-ending surgery next week for an injury suffered during the Ohio State game,” Franklin told the media after the game, per PennLive. “The injuries prevented Pat from playing at a high level and without pain, which led to the decision of surgery his family and we made this week. He’s going to remain with the team the rest of the season.”

His future is still uncertain, as is a timetable for return from whatever this injury is. It wasn't serious enough to hold him out from the two games after Ohio State, which wound up being his two most productive of the season. He caught six passes for 91 yards against Maryland, and had season highs with seven catches and 113 yards against Nebraska last week. However, if there are any concerns about his long term health, with Penn State at 0-5, this is the right call.

The Nittany Lions have had about as tough a go of it as possible this year. On top of the 0-5 record, the team had its best player, Micah Parsons, opt out, and lost its two top running backs Noah Cain and Journey Brown to medical issues. Brown's football career is now over due to a heart condition.

Pat Freiermuth has 92 career catches for 1,185 yards and 16 touchdowns for the Nittany Lions.