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OSU WRs Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Julian Fleming Expected to Play vs. Toledo After Injuries

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IISeptember 13, 2022

Ben Jackson/Getty Images

Ohio State wide receivers Jaxon Smith-Njigba and Julian Fleming are expected to play against Toledo on Saturday, per head coach Ryan Day.

"He's further along than he was at this point last week," Day told reporters regarding Smith-Njigba, who suffered a hamstring injury early in the Sept. 3 season-opening win against Notre Dame.

"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."

Smith-Njigba did not play last Saturday against Arkansas State in a 45-12 win.

Fleming has missed both of Ohio State's victories after suffering an undisclosed injury late in training camp, per ESPN's Adam Rittenberg.

However, he's also expected to go this week in OSU's home matchup versus the 2-0 Rockets at 7 p.m. ET in Columbus' Ohio Stadium.

Smith-Njigba caught 95 passes for 1,606 yards and nine touchdowns last season. His return will be a welcome sight to a team with national championship aspirations. The same goes for Fleming, a 5-star recruit whom 247Sports ranked as the top wideout from the class of 2021. The Pennsylvania native caught 12 passes last year.

The remaining OSU wideouts have certainly held down the fort in their absence, however. Marvin Harrison Jr. and Emeka Egbuka combined for 11 receptions, 302 yards and four touchdown catches against Arkansas State. Egbuka notably dominated against Notre Dame with nine catches, 90 receiving yards and a touchdown reception.

Ultimately, Ohio State arguably sports the deepest and best wide receiver room in college football, and those wideouts are catching passes from a potential No. 1 overall NFL draft pick in C.J. Stroud.

The No. 3 Buckeyes are a force to be reckoned with, and adding Smith-Njigba and Fleming back into the fold only makes the team stronger as it searches for its first national title since the 2014 season.

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