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With Freiermuth out today, Lions now without four best players this season

Photo courtesy Penn State Pat Freiermuth has caught 15 TD passes in his career.

All-American tight end Pat Freiermuth is not in uniform and will not play for Penn State today against Iowa, yet another in a string of blows that have cost the Nittany Lions their four best players this season.

It’s unclear what the situation is with Freiermuth, and no news came up during the week. But as observers pointed out during pregame at Beaver Stadium, the tight end is not in uniform.

Linebacker Micah Parsons would have been PSU’s best player this season. But he opted out in August to enter the NFL draft.

Freiermuth was probably the Lions’ second-best player, and now he’s having to miss time.

Running back Journey Brown was PSU’s third-best player entering the season. But he was not able to play because of a heart condition that forced him to retire from football.

Running back Noah Cain was perhaps PSU’s fourth-best player for the season, but he suffered a season-ending leg injury on the first series of the year at Indiana.

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Quarterback Sean Clifford might have been considered by some as one of PSU’s four-best players, but he has had a disastrous season and is expected to be benched today in favor of Will Levis.

As we’ve written before, at some point, the “next man up” mentality just simply doesn’t cut it when you’re having to replace star players.

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Cory Giger is a 15-year veteran of the Penn State beat and a journalist with 28 years of experience. He has won more than 100 state and national journalism awards during his career, plus he's a voter for the Heisman Trophy in football and Wooden Award in basketball.

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