No. 7 Penn State could be without running back Journey Brown for the season

Frank Bodani
York Daily Record

It's possible Penn State will be missing its second star player before the 2020 football season even begins.

First, linebacker Micah Parsons, one of the top defensive players in the nation, left the team this summer to pursue an NFL career. He did not return when the Big Ten season was reinstated.

Now, breakout national running back Journey Brown may miss the entire season because of an undisclosed medical condition.

Penn State running back Journey Brown carries the ball to the end zone for a touchdown against Memphis in the first half of the Cotton Bowl, Saturday, Dec. 28, 2019, in Arlington, Texas.

Penn State released a statement addressing Brown's situation: "Journey Brown is being treated for a medical condition discovered during the off-season and will potentially miss the 2020 football season."

Though Penn State has depth at running back, Brown was certainly the leader. He averaged 6.8 yards per carry last season and gained confidence and productivity down the stretch. He finished with team-high 890 yards and 12 touchdowns, including a 202-yard effort in the Cotton Bowl victory over Memphis.

Without Brown, Penn State's highly-regarded run game will rely on sophomores Noah Cain, Devyn Ford and true freshman Caziah Holmes. Cain actually became the team's No. 1 runner in 2019 before a mid-season injury slowed him.

Ford was the highest-rated of the running backs coming out of high school in Virginia but saw only minimal action last year.

The Nittany Lions open their pandemic-delayed Big Ten season Saturday at Indiana. and then play at home against No. 5 Ohio State the following weekend.

Contributing: The Associated Press