Ohio State expects preseason All-America selection Jaxon Smith-Njigba and fellow wide receiver Julian Fleming to play this week against Toledo.
Smith-Njigba, who led Ohio State with 1,606 receiving yards in 2021, suffered a hamstring injury early in the Sept. 3 opener against Notre Dame. He went through light warm-ups last week but did not play against Arkansas State. Fleming, who had 12 receptions last season, suffered an undisclosed injury late in training camp and has not played this season.
“He’s further along than he was at this point last week,” coach Ryan Day said of Smith-Njigba. “We’re going to expect him to play this weekend, we’ll see how this week goes, but we’re going to only put him in the game if we feel 100% sure that he’s ready to roll.”
Day described Fleming’s situation as similar to Smith-Njigba’s. Fleming went through some warm-ups before the Arkansas State game.
Sophomores Emeka Egbuka and Marvin Harrison Jr. have emerged during Smith-Njigba’s absence, combining for 25 receptions, 448 yards and 5 touchdowns in Ohio State’s first two games.
“We’re a different team when Jaxon’s in there, there’s no question, but we’ve had to have some other guys step up and figure a few things out,” Day said. “That has been good for the longevity of the offense and the depth of the offense.”