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Ryan Day Reveals He's Not Expecting Ohio State Star To Return From Injury This Season

Ohio State HC Ryan Day

Ohio State HC Ryan Day

Ohio State coach Ryan Day is focused on getting his undefeated Buckeyes as far as possible in the upcoming playoffs, but it sounds like he has tempered expectations on having Jaxon Smith-Njigba return to contribute. 

"I wouldn't say expecting," Day told the press Thursday on the junior wideout's status. "I'd probably say more hoping. But no update at this point."

The news- or lack thereof- is disheartening to Buckeyes fans but not wholly unexpected. Smith-Njigba hasn't appeared in a game since his abridged outing against the Iowa Hawkeyes in October. 

The former high school standout from Rockwall, Texas hasn't been able to recover from a lingering hamstring injury. After going off for 1,606 receiving yards with nine touchdowns in his 2021 campaign, Smith-Njigba has largely watched from the sidelines as the Buckeyes have stormed to a 10-0 start. 

Day's ambiguous update Thursday came in stark contrast to his thoughts earlier in the month, when he stated he "absolutely" believed Smith-Njigba would return to the field this season.