Star Ohio State Buckeyes wide receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba entered the 2022 college football season as arguably the top receiver in the nation. Unfortunately, he’s rarely seen the field after suffering a leg injury on the first drive of the team’s season-opening win over the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. But it looks like the future first-round pick is finally set to return for Ohio State’s game against the Iowa Hawkeyes on Saturday.
When the team announced its availability report ahead of Saturday afternoon’s game, Jaxon Smith-Njigba was not listed as either “unavailable” or as a “game-time decision,” indicating that he is set to play for the first time since the team faced the Toledo Rockets earlier in the season.
Smith-Njigba has only played 38 snaps for Ohio State so far this season, totaling just four catches for 36 yards and no touchdowns, according to Eleven Warriors. He’s missed four of the past five games completely and was sidelined for most of the other two games the Buckeyes have played this season.
It’s some massive news for Ohio State, and the college football world had plenty to say about it.
Jaxon Smith-Njigba looking spry. https://t.co/2AMpsvw8RT
— Tony Gerdeman (@TonyGerdeman) October 21, 2022
Small sample size, but I'd say Jaxon Smith-Njigba's hamstring looks alright. https://t.co/u4CsIHGKBW
— Patrick Murphy (@_Pat_Murphy) October 21, 2022
— Bill (@BillyDeniro3) October 22, 2022
He’s back. https://t.co/fM2Bd8zCOw
— Buckeye Faithful (@NateMotSaG) October 22, 2022
Mostly really good news from the availability report though it's hard to completely trust these things from OSU. After JSN, Hancock is the most intriguing player returning from injury. OSU needs help at CB big time, but how much can we realistically expect of Hancock right now? https://t.co/5rgJOihb9M
— The South Stands (@south_stands) October 22, 2022
JSN back! https://t.co/Bma5q1QdxI
— Juice (@JUICE_CLARK) October 22, 2022
While Smith-Njigba is undeniably a huge boost for the Buckeyes, they’ve done just fine without him so far this season. Ohio State has the best offense in the country in nearly every category, and another Buckeye receiver has emerged as potentially the top wide-out in the country.
Smith-Njigba isn’t the only player Ohio State returns from injury. Running back Miyan Williams is also back after missing the Buckeyes’ most recent game against the Michigan State Spartans. He had a record-breaking performance in his last appearance against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights. Additionally, highly-touted cornerback Jordan Hancock will be making his season debut against Iowa.