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Jaxon Smith-Njigba doubtful to return vs. Iowa after appearing to tweak hamstring

The OSU wide receiver is on the field for the first time since Week 3 but appeared to aggravate his hamstring injury.

Jaxon Smith-Njigba #11 of the Ohio State Buckeyes looks to the bench during a 48-45 win over the Utah Utes at Rose Bowl on January 01, 2022 in Pasadena, California. Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

Update: Apparently there’s no official injury to report on Smith-Njigba but he is doubtful to return for the second half of Ohio State’s game against Iowa per Jenny Taft.

Ohio State Buckeyes wide receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba limped off the field in the second quarter against the Iowa Hawkeyes on Saturday. Smith-Njigba has been out for the past several weeks with a hamstring issue. He left the season opener against Notre Dame early, and sat out in Week 2. He did return against Toledo the following week but recorded just two catches for 33 yards before leaving with an injury.

The wide receiver was a preseason favorite for Heisman contention after putting up over 1,600 receiving yards in 2021, but this injury has kept him sidelined since mid-September.

But those statistics are far from repeating themselves this season. Before today’s game, he had just four receptions for 36 yards this season. Today, he added one reception for seven yards before limping off the field.

Smith-Njigba is eligible for the NFL Draft after this season, but unless he’s able to return to play and stay healthy in the second half of 2022, his draft stock will likely continue to drop.

Ohio State’s leading receiver this year is Emeka Egbuka.