The Washington Times - August 23, 2012, 09:09AM

He was wearing a red jersey Wednesday – never a good sign – but Navy wide receiver Matt Aiken wasn’t on crutches.

That’s a good development for the Midshipmen, who will be without the starter in their opener because of a knee injury.

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But after that?

“I’m encouraged,” coach Ken Niumatalolo said. “He said his knee’s feeling better, walking better. I’m hoping Penn State. We’ll see.”

Navy opens Sept. 1 against Notre Dame in Dublin, Ireland. The Mids’ second game is Sept. 15 at Penn State.

Meanwhile, linebacker Chris Johnson was to receive a second opinion on his knee injury Wednesday night.

“It doesn’t look good, but I’m holding out to the end,” Niumatalolo said.

Sophomore Josh Tate, who just returned within the last week after failing a pre-camp conditioning test, is working with the second team at Johnson’s spot. Jordan Drake is now the starter.

Patrick Stevens