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Jaxon Smith-Njigba expected to play Week 1 vs. Rams

We break down the news that Jaxon Smith-Njigba returned to practice after suffering a wrist injury. What it means for Week 1.

SEATTLE, WASHINGTON - AUGUST 10: Jaxon Smith-Njigba #11 of the Seattle Seahawks warms up before the preseason game against the Minnesota Vikings at Lumen Field on August 10, 2023 in Seattle, Washington. Photo by Jane Gershovich/Getty Images

Update, Sept. 8 — Despite having a recent wrist surgery, JSN heads into the weekend not on the final injury report. He should make his NFL debut on Sunday against the Rams.

Update, Sept. 7 — Smith-Njigba logged another full participation in practice on Thursday. If he can make it three in a row on Friday, he could head into the weekend without an injury designation, ready to make his NFL debut.

Wednesday, September 6 PM Update: Head coach Pete Carroll says that JSN will play on Sunday against the Rams. The wide receiver apparently has had no setbacks from the wrist surgery in the preseason and is expected to be a full-go.

Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba suffered a wrist injury following the team’s second preseason game against the Dallas Cowboys. After scoring a touchdown, Smith-Njigba suffered a small bone crack in his wrist that would require surgery before the start of the regular season. The injury is described as a small crack that shouldn’t be long-term, but it does leave his status up in the air for Week 1.

Bob Condotta of The Seattle Times posted a clip that showed Smith-Njigba had returned to practice as of Tuesday, August 29. Despite being back on the field, he was seen with his hand and wrist heavily wrapped as it continued to heal. Seattle will share its first injury report later this week, though early observations hint that the rookie wide receiver could be held out as a precaution for Week 1.

Fantasy football implications for Week 1

Smith-Njigba was drafted in the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft to add another layer to a passing game that features DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett. If the former Ohio State product were to miss Week 1, it would simply be another day at the office for Metcalf and Lockett, who were the Seahawks’ top two leading receivers in 2022. Tight end Noah Fant could see a higher target volume than usual, while receiver Jake Bobo may play an elevated role after being listed further on the depth chart.

The Rams allowed the ninth-most fantasy points (35.9 ppg) to opposing receivers last season, so it’s not an overstatement to say Smith-Njigba would be missing out on an advantageous matchup if he were to be held out of action for Week 1.