Jaxon Smith-Njigba Injury Update: Latest on Seattle Seahawks WR

One of the NFL's top rookies suffered an injury that required surgery. What is the latest on Seahawks WR Jaxon Smith-Njigba as the regular season approaches?

This past April, the Seattle Seahawks used their second of two first-round draft picks to select the first wide receiver off the board in the 2023 NFL Draft: Jaxon Smith-Njigba. The latest rookie WR from Ohio State to be highly drafted, Smith-Njigba enters an offense that was 10th in passing yards and tied for fourth in passing touchdowns a season ago.

But before the regular season could even begin, Smith-Njigba has already shown up on injury reports. What is the latest on Smith Njigba’s injury, and what does this mean for the Seahawks and fantasy football owners everywhere? Let’s jump in and find out!

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What Happened to Jaxon Smith-Njigba?

JSN made some highlight-reel plays in the Seahawks’ second preseason game at home against the Dallas Cowboys. One of the best was a 48-yard reception in the second quarter that saw Smith-Njigba tackled at the 1-yard line.

Just feet away from a touchdown, coaches, fans, and (based on his celebration) even JSN didn’t realize that failing to get in the end zone was the least of the worries. On the play, Smith-Njigba suffered a small bone crack in his wrist that would require surgery before the season.

The injury is described as a small crack that shouldn’t have long-term impacts, but it does leave Smith-Njigba’s status up in the air for Week 1. JSN has already returned to practice, but he was seen with his hand and wrist heavily wrapped as it continues to heal.

With the division rival Los Angeles Rams coming to town in Week 1, the Seahawks would love to be as healthy as possible, but they may be without one of their weapons right away.

The injury timeline was said to be 3-4 weeks originally, but every player heals differently. It is hard to be certain either way until an injury designation shows up next week.

What Are the Seahawks’ Options if Smith-Njigba Misses Time?

Luckily for the Seahawks, they still have a very talented wide receiver room outside of Smith-Njigba. This is highlighted by DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett.

Metcalf is now a fifth-year pro who has reached 900 receiving yards and at least six touchdowns every year in his first four seasons. Lockett is entering his ninth year in the NFL and has surpassed 950 receiving yards and at least eight touchdowns in five straight seasons. Can you say consistency?

With top talent like this, the Seahawks and QB Geno Smith still have options at their disposal. If JSN misses a week or two, preseason star Jake Bobo could see some snaps at WR for the team as well. He is likely not a long-term solution, but he certainly will be able to fill in if the Seahawks are in a pinch.

Ultimately, I wouldn’t expect Seattle to make any drastic moves before the season begins to address the wide receiver position. With Smith-Njigba already returning to practice, the team likely will only need to manage without the rookie for a game or two, at most.

What Does This Mean for Smith-Njigba’s Fantasy Ranking?

From a dynasty perspective, this injury does not shift JSN’s value even a little bit. He is still a rookie WR with a ton of talent that we will want to have on our teams for years to come. As the first receiver taken in the 2023 draft, we can be confident that there is plenty of talent there and that this injury is just a minor setback.

From a redraft point of view, the injury does have Smith-Njigba slipping at least a spot or two for me. This isn’t a major drop, but the Seahawks rookie was already a receiver that I thought was going to take some time to prosper in the Emerald City.

MORE: Fantasy Football Preseason Takeaways

With Metcalf and Lockett both ahead of JSN on the depth chart, and the rookie suffering an injury that will hamper the start of the season, I would target a few other rookie receivers over Smith-Njigba.

In your drafts, I think the Vikings’ Jordan Addison and Chargers’ Quentin Johnston are both safer bets for your team for 2023. They are both in high-powered offenses with an opportunity to produce early and often.

JSN could be impactful as the year goes on, but I would be cautious in his rookie season. He is still worth a pick once you have your starting squad set, but I wouldn’t reach for him in Year 1.

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