Jaxon Smith-Njigba injury: Ohio State WR suffers hamstring issue against Notre Dame

Jaxon Smith-Njigba, a standout wide receiver for Ohio State, appeared to suffer a lower-body injury in the opening frame of Saturday’s 21-10 victory over Notre Dame, which was rated sixth. After getting shaken up, Smith-Njigba did briefly come back, but early in the third quarter his helmet was taken away, and he did not.

Halfway through the first quarter, Smith-Njigba received a pass for 4 yards before being awkwardly tackled by a Notre Dame defender. He then spent some time on a stationary bike and ran beside the field in an effort to test his leg. Smith-Njigba was subsequently replaced as the punt returner and slot receiver by Emeka Egbuka.

The wide receiver was reportedly speaking about his hamstring and the back of his left knee during the broadcast, according to ESPN reporter Holly Rowe. After his team’s 21-10 victory, Buckeyes coach Ryan Day expressed his optimism that Smith-Njigba will be able to play again the following week.

Prior to returning to the injury tent in the second half, Smith-Njigba played very occasionally. He had a towel wrapped around his shoulders as he emerged, and he was clearly agitated. Coming into the 2022 football season, Smith-Njigba is anticipated to be Ohio State’s top receiver and conceivably the best in the country at his position.

In addition to his 95 receptions and nine touchdown catches from the previous season, he set an Ohio State record with 1,606 receiving yards last year. He had two catches for three yards by the end of Saturday.

The Buckeyes relied more on Emeka Egbuka in Smith-absence Njigba’s since he scored a touchdown early in the game to give Ohio State its first lead. Former walk-on Xavier Johnson scored Ohio State’s second touchdown of the game, putting the Buckeyes ahead 14-10 early in the third quarter.

Marvin Harrison, Jr. scored three touchdowns in the Rose Bowl during the previous postseason and is expected to play a bigger part in the offense. TreVeyon Henderson, a running back, is also a skilled pass catcher who finished the previous season with 312 yards and four touchdowns.

Zahid Iqbal

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