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DT Hill, TE Carter listed as 'day-to-day'

11/6/2012

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. -- Bill O'Brien again remained mum on the status of his injured starters, but his track record doesn't bode well for defensive tackle Jordan Hill.

The first-year coach -- who's remained vague every week on injuries -- listed Hill as "day-to-day" on the injury report. Of the last six players who were first listed on the report as possible or day-to-day, only one played in the next game.

Here's the breakdown:

DE Brad Bars (leg) -- missed one game

RB Bill Belton (ankle) -- missed three games

CB Stephon Morris (ankle) -- played

RB Derek Day (shoulder) -- missed two games

DE Pete Massaro (shoulder) -- missed three games

LB Nyeem Wartman (knee) -- missed at least six games due to injury; likely to medical redshirt

TE Kyle Carter (foot) -- missed last game; but listed as "probable" last week so he doesn't count toward the overall tally

O'Brien doesn't like to offer more information than required, and injury reports aren't mandatory. So, the coach simply deflected injury-related questions Tuesday and insisted he would evaluate both Carter and Hill later in the week.

"They come in every day for treatment and then we take a look at them in the training room and the weight room, out on the field," O'Brien said, "and, really, that'll be a later-in-the-week decision."

Of all the players O'Brien listed as possible, only Morris was able to play after O'Brien told reporters Sept. 4 he remained "day-to-day" with an ankle injury. But Morris had tweeted the day before the press conference he planned to play Saturday, and he practiced with the first-team defense Wednesday.

There's been no indication yet how much time on the field Carter or Hill have seen. Penn State's tight end stretched with the team last Wednesday before ducking into the training room, and players were tight-lipped this week about Hill, who suffered a left knee sprain.

Hill was carted off the field of Ross-Ade Stadium after a low hit near the 40-yard line. Hill told the media Saturday he was optimistic he could play against Nebraska -- but he stopped short of making any promises like Morris.

"It's up to him and the trainers how he feels this week in practice," linebacker Michael Mauti said. "I can tell you he's itching right now."

Without Hill, James Terry would likely start in his place with Kyle Baublitz also seeing time. At tight end, Jesse James would likely see more targets thrown his way, with Matt Lehman and Garry Gilliam also picking up some slack.

"I don't know what's going to happen with him," Morris said. "But I just know when I talked to him, he's still the same Jordan Hill -- a great teammate, a great player, making everything smoother -- but I don't know his status."