COLUMBUS — Ohio State junior wide receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba is a game-time decision for this afternoon’s matchup against Arkansas State.
Smith-Njigba, who had to leave last week’s game after tweaking his hamstring, is one of three Buckeye receivers to appear on OSU’s availability report that has just been released.
Smith-Njigba caught just two passes for three yards in last week’s win over Notre Dame before being shut down. If he can go this week, he likely wouldn’t be asked to go for long, as the Buckeyes are favored by about six touchdowns against the Red Wolves.
Fellow junior receiver Julian Fleming is also a game-time decision after missing last week’s game. He was also listed as a game-time decision a week ago.
Fleming hasn’t played since last January’s Rose Bowl where he caught a career-high five passes.
Fifth-year wide receiver Kamryn Babb is listed as unavailable this week. He was not on the list last week but was held out anyway. Babb suffered a minor setback in camp that was supposed to keep him out of the first few games for the Buckeyes.
Babb hasn’t played in a game since the national championship against Alabama to end the 2020 season. They are going to be careful bringing him back.
Another new name on the unavailable list is sophomore cornerback Jordan Hancock. Hancock was banged up in fall camp and was sporadically healthy throughout. He was able to play last week and got some snaps on special teams, but he is now out for today’s contest against Arkansas State.
An important name that is not listed is redshirt sophomore starting center Luke Wypler, who was in a walking boot after last week’s game. Fifth-year senior starting right guard Matt Jones got some work in at center this week in practice in case he was needed to replace Wypler.
Just because Wypler isn’t listed, however, doesn’t mean he’s going to play. We found that out last week when Babb wasn’t listed on the availability report and didn’t end up seeing any action.
Redshirt freshman running back Evan Pryor, redshirt sophomore linebacker Mitchell Melton, and fifth-year senior walk-on cornerback Lloyd McFarquhar are all listed as unavailable, just as they were a week ago. Pryor and Melton are both expected to be out for the season following knee injuries suffered this year.