Ohio State head coach Ryan Day spoke to the media on Tuesday and providing an update on several Buckeyes that are ailing following the season-opening win over Notre Dame.
Chief among them was wide receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba, who left the game in the first half against the Irish after getting his left leg rolled up on. The impact of his loss was felt on Ohio State’s offense that struggled for much of the game with him on the bench.
“He’s such an impact player…he’s so explosive and because of that, when you have a playmaker like that on the perimeter, it just has such an impact on the entire game schematically,” Day said. “That’s the impact he makes because he’s such a great player.”
Day indicated that the team will have a better fell for his status as the week goes on in preparation for Arkansas State this Saturday.
“I leave it up to the doctors and the medical professionals, but we will not bring him back if there’s any risk of him getting hurt further for the future,” Day said. “We’ll make sure he’s 100 percent before we put him back in the game.”
Another wideout who missed time against Notre Dame was Julian Fleming, who was listed as a game-time decision but did not take the field for Ohio State.
“He went through warmups and he was close. It tore his heart out not to be in this game,” Day said. “Had an unbelievable offseason, did a really good job this preseason. Tweaked something leading up tot he game, so we’re hoping to have him back on Saturday.”
The Buckeyes also ended up with some tweaks on the offensive line. Center Luke Wypler finished the game but reportedly left Ohio Stadium on Saturday with a boot on his foot.
“When you come out of those physical games like that there’s always bumps and bruises and things that we want to keep an eye on, but nothing long term there,” Day said.
If Wypler were to miss time, Day said Ohio State would either shift right guard Matthew Jones to center and bring in Enokk Vimahi to replace Jones, or replace Wypler at center with Jakob James and leave Jones at left guard.