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Jaxon Smith-Njigba To Have Surgery On "Slight Fracture" in Wrist

Updates on rookie receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba and other Seahawks injuries

Jaxon Smith-Njigba is in his first season in the NFL after being selected 20th overall in the 2023 NFL Draft.
Jaxon Smith-Njigba is in his first season in the NFL after being selected 20th overall in the 2023 NFL Draft.

Jaxon Smith-Njigba has been one of the bright spots in training camp for the Seahawks, but the rookie receiver out of Ohio State is going to have to miss some time, the result of a wrist injury sustained in Saturday's preseason win over Dallas.

Smith-Njigba, the 20th pick in this year's draft, has what Seahawks coach Pete Carroll called "a slight fracture" in his wrist, an injury that occurred on his 48-yard reception in the first half of Saturday's game.

"He's going to get surgery, he's with a hand specialist," Carroll said. "He's got a slight fracture that we just want to make sure that we do the right thing to ensure that he gets back as soon as possible and as safe as possible. We're going to be optimistic about it, three, four weeks, we'll see what happens. We don't know yet. We'll see what happens."

Asked if Smith-Njigba could make it back in time for the September 10 opener against the Rams, Carroll said, "We're staying optimistic, we'll see what happens."

Carroll said the injury occurred at the end of Smith-Njigba's long catch and run.

"When he hit the ground, he put his hand down just for a flash of an instant and caught it wrong," Carroll said.

And Smith-Njigba isn't the only receiver dealing with an injury right now. Second-year wideout Dareke Young, who returned from a hip injury last week and played in the game, is still dealing with that injury and could need surgery. Carroll had said earlier in camp when discussing the injury that it could be a sports hernia issue.

"He's got this abductor thing that he's got to get looked at seriously, he might have to get it fixed," Carroll said.

On a more positive note at that position, Cade Johnson, who left the Seahawks' preseason opener on a stretcher with a concussion and was taken to Harborview Medical Center, was back at practice and should be able to play in this weekend's preseason finale, Carroll said.

Easop Winson Jr., who missed last weekend's game with a groin injury, was also back at practice. Cody Thompson, who injured his shoulder in Saturday's game, was not practicing but Carroll said, "We're going to take it day by day and see what happens, see if he can make it back for the weekend."

Rookie cornerback Devon Witherspoon continues to be held out of practice with a hamstring injury, but he was able to take part in Tuesday's walkthrough, Carroll said, and still has a chance to make it back for the regular-season opener.

"He worked in walkthrough today for the first time," Carroll said. "He felt like he ran pretty good on some short sprints that he did, so we just keep progressing. We're really hoping that he can get back out there with time to prepare for the opener. The injury should be healed by then, but we've got to get him ready to play too; I'm more concerned about that. That's why he'll be working through all the walkthrough stuff, which is 40 plays a day that a guy gets, basically, so that's a lot of work. We'll try to put all the pieces together and give it a shot."

Three other 2023 draft picks, defensive linemen Cam Young (calf) and Mike Morris (shoulder), and running back Kenny McIntosh (knee) also continue to be out due to injuries and will play in this weekend's preseason game.

"Mike had a little procedure yesterday to see how he would respond to it," Carroll said. "He's got an old shoulder that's bothering him a little bit. We're a little bit worried about that, it's still pretty sore. Cam's got a calf that just takes a while. We would like to see him get back next week. Neither one of those guys will make it back this week."

On McIntosh, Carroll said, "Kenny is running and he's getting close. He's really optimistic about it. He's not quite there with all the movements that he's got to do to get back on the practice field. But he is running and he's working hard at it. So it doesn't look like he'll make it this week, so we'll just have to see what happens."

Rookie safety Jonathan Sutherland was out Tuesday, and Carroll said they don't yet know if he can play Saturday: "It's day by day for him."

Second-year linebacker Vi Jones continues to be out with a high ankle sprain suffered earlier in camp.  

"It's taking him some time. He's had a legit high ankle sprain, the ones that really don't go away right away," Carroll said. "It's really unfortunate. He started so well, looked so good, we were so excited about him making the jump from Year 1 to Year 2. He showed us enough to tell us that he's ready, but he just had a nasty sprain, so he's not back yet."

Rookie receiver Matt Landers is dealing with a core injury, Carroll said: "He had a quad thing that kind of turned into an abductor thing. He's really encouraged that he can get back. The trainers are concerned about it because it's kind of a little bit of a hidden thing—you won't know until you really open up and go. He's running and doing stuff and he's close. We really would like to get him back. He's made a really good impression in camp, and we'd like to see where he fits into the whole thing."

Check out the best sights from the sidelines following a 22-14 preseason week 2 win over the Dallas Cowboys at Lumen Field on August 19, 2023. Easy To Celebrate photos are presented by Bud Light.

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