Sources: Buckeyes’ Smith-Njigba likely to return

Ohio State star wide receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba is expected to return against Iowa on Saturday, sources told ESPN.

Smith-Njigba, who broke the Big Ten record for yards in a season in 2021, has been recovering from a hamstring injury that’s limited him to parts of just two games this season. He is expected to play significant snaps against Iowa on Saturday.

He hasn’t played since Sept. 17 against Toledo, as the Ohio State staff has handled his injury with an abundance of caution, wanting Smith-Njigba to be fully healthy before coming back on the field.

Ohio State’s offense will also be boosted by the return of tailback Miyan Williams, who didn’t play two weeks ago against Michigan State because of a knee injury. He leads the nation with 7.77 average yards per carry (60 attempts or more) and has eight TDs on just 64 carries.

With the Buckeyes coming off a bye, the return of both Smith-Njigba and Williams is expected add an adrenaline jolt to a dynamic Ohio State offense that’s No. 1 in the nation in scoring offense (48.8) and No. 2 in total offense (543.7).

Smith-Njigba had 1,606 receiving yards last season, breaking the Big Ten receiving record set by Lee Evans in 2001. Smith-Njigba’s 347 receiving yards in the Rose Bowl broke both the all-time bowl and the fifth-highest single-game total in NCAA Division I history.

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