Penn State had one major bullet left to dodge.

Last week, the Lions got good news with the announcement from Mike Gesicki that he’d return in 2017. This week, they got more good news.

The leader of the Penn State defense, Jason Cabinda, will be back in 2017.

He made that announcement on Wednesday:

With Cabinda back, the Lions will have a key veteran in the middle of the defense. He missed the first part of the season after emerging in 2015, but Cabinda still finished third on the team in tackles despite playing only eight games.

Cabinda racked up 70 tackles, four tackles for loss and one sack in an injury-shortened 2016. But the third-team All-B1G junior was a big reason why the Lions rattled off nine straight wins to end the season.

Heading into 2017, Cabinda will return for a unit that does lose some of its defensive firepower. Gone are the likes of Brandon Bell, Nyeem Wartman-White and Malik Golden.

Cabinda’s presence will likely add to Penn State’s case to crack the preseason top five.