Ohio State football: Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Julian Fleming could return in Week 3 – Sports Illustrated

  • September 14, 2022

Ohio State football coach Ryan Day says he expects wide receivers Jaxon Smith-Njigba and Julian Fleming to return for Saturday's game against Toledo.
"He's further along than he was at this point last week," Day said of Smith-Njigba's progress. 
"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 percent sure that he's ready to roll."
Ohio State wide receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba
Smith-Njigba led Ohio State with 1,606 receiving yards last season and returned this year as the Buckeyes' presumptive main target for quarterback C.J. Stroud in college football's reigning No. 1 total offense.
But the receiver sustained a hamstring injury in Ohio State's Week 1 win over Notre Dame and reports suggested he would not be available for several weeks.
Fleming sustained an undisclosed injury late in the Buckeyes' preseason football camp and has not played yet this season.
In their absence, Ohio State has leaned more heavily on Marvin Harrison, Jr. and Emeka Egbuka, who have a combined 25 receptions, 448 yards, and five touchdowns in the first two games of the season.
"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."
Ohio State, No. 3 in the latest AP top 25 football rankings, hosts Toledo on Saturday before opening Big Ten play at home to Wisconsin next weekend.
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