One of the best players in the entire Big Ten may miss the upcoming 2020 football season because of a medical condition.
"Journey Brown is being treated for a medical condition discovered during the offseason and will potentially miss the 2020 football season," Penn State said in a statement, per Mark Brennan of 247Sports.
Brown is the star running back for the Nittany Lions and was largely expected to carry on the proud tradition of the position for the program that recently produced Saquon Barkley and Miles Sanders.
Brown was a nonfactor in 2018 but tallied 1,024 yards from scrimmage and 13 touchdowns during the 2019 campaign.
He was especially impressive down the stretch when he established himself as the clear-cut top option out of the backfield:
- Nov. 9 at Minnesota: 14 carries for 124 yards and two touchdowns
- Nov. 16 vs. Indiana: 21 carries for 100 yards and one touchdown
- Nov. 23 at Ohio State: 11 carries for 64 yards and one touchdown
- Nov. 30 vs. Rutgers: 16 carries for 103 yards and three touchdowns
- Dec. 28 vs. Memphis: 16 carries for 202 yards and two touchdowns
His performance in the Cotton Bowl victory over Memphis seemingly set him up to pick up right where he left off as a primary option during the 2020 campaign. Instead, the Nittany Lions may be forced to compete with the likes of Ohio State, Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin and others for a Big Ten Championship without their star running back.
Penn State does have other options in the backfield with Noah Cain, Devyn Ford, Caziah Holmes and Keyvone Lee, but Brown adds an explosive element to the offense that can take the pressure off quarterback Sean Clifford.
The Nittany Lions face Indiana in Saturday's season opener.