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His sideline scare turns into a real pain for Paterno

Penn State coach Joe Paterno gestures during his weekly news conference Tuesday in State College.

AP

Tuesday’s injury report began with Joe Paterno himself.

The 84-year-old Penn State coach admitted he suffered a “setback” on Saturday after being yanked out of the way of oncoming players on the sideline. Whether he’ll end up back in the coaches booth this weekend against Purdue remains to be seen.

“One of the kids from Iowa came (near the sideline during a play), and a couple kids on the sideline got a little panicky, grabbed me and threw me back,” Paterno said at his weekly press conference. “Well I fought them, and the darn right leg went, and it’s still sore. So I went backwards a couple of days.

“I was scared to death to stay down there for the second half because I’d be in the way. The worst thing I could do is when guys are looking to see where I am, afraid they’re gonna run into me. … (Monday) I had a tough day, and I’m trying to stay away from some of the pills they wanna give me. (Tuesday) morning I was a little better, but I think (today) or the next day I’ll be back to where I was, because I was feeling pretty good. I was doing pretty good.”

But when asked if his struggles since injuring his right hip in August have affected his desire to keep coaching, Paterno fired right back.

“Who knows? Maybe I’ll go 10 years,” Paterno said. “No, I don’t know – I think that’s all newspaper talk and media and fans. But I feel too good for me to be thinking about that. Outside of the leg hurting, I feel great.”

Paterno insisted he’s purely focused on this week’s game against the Boilermakers. And as far as that goes, the No. 25 Nittany Lions have more to worry about injury-wise than Paterno’s hip and leg.

Cornerback D’Anton Lynn – out for the past two weeks while doctors monitor him for concussion-like symptoms following a frightening helmet-to-helmet collision – may or may not play, depending on who’s talking.

After last Saturday’s win over Iowa, defensive coordinator Tom Bradley said he expected to have Lynn back this week. Starting safety Nick Sukay said Tuesday he thinks Lynn will be ready to play.

Paterno had a more pessimistic outlook, noting that Lynn was still wearing a no-contact jersey in practice Monday along with injured tailback Brandon Beachum.

“I’ve been needling the medical people, ‘Hey, let’s get them doing some things,’ but they’ve been very careful with Lynn and the other kid, Beachum,” Paterno said. “Because both those kids I had felt at the beginning of the year would be real leaders on our football team. I’d love to have them both back.

“But I doubt if either one will play this week, although they’re gonna practice at least. I think we can look forward to having them next week if we don’t have them this week.”

Lynn (head), Beachum (foot) and cornerback Stephon Morris (ankle) were all listed as “possible” for the Purdue game on Penn State’s official injury report. Paterno said Morris practiced regularly on Monday and should be available to play.

Same old, same old

Though the Lions are now halfway through their season, nothing has changed with their quarterback situation. Paterno said he won’t make a decision yet between Matt McGloin and Rob Bolden.

Bolden has started all six games for the Lions, but the offense has been more effective with McGloin, who has been statistically superior in the first half of the year.

Still, Paterno said it was not significant that McGloin played for all but one drive in the second half in the win over Iowa. Paterno would not say that McGloin is closer to winning the job.

“No, I thought it was just the way the game was going, that we were gonna run the football a little bit more, and he had a little better feel for what was going on that particular game,” Paterno said. “I don’t think you can read too much into that.”

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