James Franklin shares latest on when Penn State expects P.J. Mustipher back in action
James Franklin had some good news for the Penn State defense this week. The Nittany Lions expect to have defensive tackle P.J. Mustipher back for Week 1 of the 2022 season.
“We expect him ready by Game 1,” Franklin told reporters this week, per Penn Live. “I think it’s a little bit different with a veteran player. I think sometimes with younger players that haven’t played a whole lot, you’re kind of anxious, almost rushing them to get back as soon as you possibly can. But with a player as experienced as he is – and P.J. is a hard-charging guy – we actually do the opposite and pull him back. But mentally, he’ll obviously be ready, and physically he’s pretty far along.
“I know yesterday I was talking to him, reading his body language, I know him pretty well, and I think he was a little frustrated, but that’s because he wants to be 100 percent yesterday. Like I told him, he doesn’t need to be 100 percent yesterday, but he’s trending in the right direction.”
Mustipher was limited to 5 games in the 2021 season, suffering a season-ending injury in the Iowa game. In those 5 games, Mustipher recorded 21 tackles (16 solo, 3 for loss) and a sack. Mustipher used the NCAA’s COVID-19 waiver to return to Penn State as a fifth-year senior for the 2022 season.
Penn State opens the 2022 season at Purdue on Thursday, Sept. 1.