Nov 7, 2020; University Park, Pennsylvania, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions tight end Pat Freiermuth (87) prior to the game against the Maryland Terrapins at Beaver Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

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Penn State loses TE Freiermuth to season-ending surgery

Penn State’s injury-plagued offense took another hit Saturday.

After the Nittany Lions’ 41-21 loss to Iowa, head coach James Franklin revealed that junior tight end and highly regarded NFL prospect Pat Freiermuth will undergo season-ending surgery next week for an undisclosed injury.

The Nittany Lions (0-5) were already without running back Noah Cain, who injured his leg in Penn State’s 36-35 overtime, season-opening loss to Indiana, and running back Journey Brown, who retired from football for medical reasons.

“The injury has prevented [him] from playing at a high level and without pain, which led to the decision of surgery that his family and we made this week,” Franklin said.

Freiermuth, an All-Big Ten second team selection in 2019 and a preseason All-America first team selection this season, didn’t play against Iowa. Franklin said that Freiermuth was injured in Penn State’s second game of the season, a 38-25 loss to Ohio State on Oct. 31.

Despite the injury, Freiermuth caught six passes for 91 yards in a 35-19 loss to Maryland the next week and made seven catches for 113 yards in a 30-23 loss at Nebraska the next week. Freiermuth finished the season with 23 catches for 310 yards and one touchdown after 43 passes for 507 yards and seven touchdowns last season.

Freiermuth owns the PSU career record for touchdown catches by a tight end (16), his lone score this season breaking a tie with Mike Gesicki, who played for the Nittany Lions from 2014-17.

Penn State ranks 11th in the 14-team Big Ten with 25.5 points scored per game.

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