Several sources are reporting that Penn State starting offensive guard Miles Dieffenbach suffered a knee injury during spring practice sometime over the past week. There are no official reports yet on the severity, but the indication is that the Nittany Lions will be without a big part of their offensive line for a significant amount of time.
We will have to wait on tests results to get the full story of the injury, but news about a knee injury is typically not good.
Dieffenbach was expected to be a leader on the offensive line this season as a senior. He was moved to right guard this spring to provide balance and experience on that side of the line. Over the past two years he had started 23 games, including all 12 in 2013. If he is forced to miss significant time, it will be a huge blow for the Nittany Lions. Donovan Smith is the only other returning offensive lineman starter.
During Saturday’s practice, the eighth of the spring, right tackle Andrew Nelson and center Angelo Mangiro were also not on the field. That left a starting lineup of Smith at left tackle, Dowrey at left guard, Wendy Laurent at center, Brendan Mahon at right tackle and Gaia filling in for Dieffenbach at right guard.
While the offensive line depth chart is very thin at the moment, there are four freshman linemen in the 2014 recruiting class. Offensive tackle Chasz Wright enrolled at the school in January and is around for spring practice.
Check back with VBR for the latest on Dieffenbach’s injury.
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