It appears that TE Theo Johnson is back to practicing pic.twitter.com/jP7oiljcb5
— Andrew Destin (@AndrewDestin1) September 14, 2022
Johnson travelled to Penn State’s season-opening game against Purdue, but didn’t dress, and wasn’t ready to go in time for the team’s home opener against Ohio.
“Hopefully we’re able to get him back sooner rather than later,” coach James Franklin said in his weekly press conference leading up to the Ohio game.
Johnson— who caught 19 passes for 213 yards and a touchdown last season— was practicing with Penn State Wednesday, and he certainly would be a big addition to Penn State’s offense ahead of the Auburn game.
Johnson (6-foot-6, 260 pounds) only caught one pass in Penn State’s 28-20 win over Auburn last year, but that pass was a big one, going for 37 yards and helping set up Penn State’s first scoring drive.
Johnson, a Windsor, Ontario, Canada, native, came to Penn State before the 2020 season and played in eight of the team’s nine games, catching his first pass against Iowa and three more for a total of 56 yards on the year.
Franklin didn’t mention Johnson’s status in Tuesday’s weekly press conference.
Franklin has been saying for a while that this Penn State’s tight end group— which also features Brenton Strange and Tyler Warren— is the best he’s coached, and there’s a sign in Beaver Stadium courtesy of “Nittanyville” the refers to Johnson, Strange and Warren as “three aces.”
Johnson and Strange were both named to the John Mackey Award watch list before the season.
The Mackey Award is given annually to the nation’s top tight end.
If all goes according to plan, Saturday will be the first time in 2022 that the “three aces” will all be in action.
Update: In his post-practice availability session, Franklin said Penn State hopes to have Johnson back Saturday.