Many Ohio State fans were excited to hear that star wide receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba was returning for their game on Saturday against the Iowa Hawkeyes, but it appears that they may have rushed him back too quickly.
Jaxon Smith-Njigba comes up limping a bit after a C.J. Stroud deep ball in his direction and checks out of the game. Still standing on the sideline though and appears to be OK.
— Dan Hope (@Dan_Hope) October 22, 2022
He was seen with his helmet on the sideline following the injury, but Ohio State head coach Ryan Day gave an unfortunate update on Smith-Njigba at halftime that indicates he will not return to the game.
“I asked for an update on Jaxon Smith-Njigba, and I have been told that there is no specific injury to report, but it is doubtful we will see him in the second half,” said Fox sideline reporter Jenny Taft.
Update about @OhioStateFB receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba: there is no injury to report but it is doubtful he'll play the second half today. @JennyTaft caught up with both coaches at half with more ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/KhmCCbnnZm
— FOX College Football (@CFBONFOX) October 22, 2022
Smith-Njigba came into the season as arguably the top receiver in the country, but he has been severely limited for Ohio State this season with injuries. He only has five catches for 43 yards on the year, and it certainly has to be frustrating to return to action only to leave early in this game.
Considering Ohio State still has some big matchups in the Big Ten remaining on their schedule against Penn State and Michigan this year, they will need to get Smith-Njigba fully healthy as soon as possible.