The Seattle Seahawks have had some players miss time in training camp and the preseason, but they have avoided long-term injuries to potentially key players. But the team got some bad news on Tuesday. Rookie receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba broke a bone in his wrist in preseason Week 2 against the Dallas Cowboys and he will require surgery.
Now, Smith-Njigba missing Week 1 of the season is a real possibility. According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, Smith-Njigba will have surgery on his wrist in Philadelphia on Tuesday. While there is a chance that the surgery could go extremely well and the receiver might be ready for the start of the season, no timetable will be set for his return until after the surgery is completed. The Seahawks have about three weeks before the beginning of the 2023 season.
The play that Smith-Njigba was injured on was the long catch and run where he was tackled at one-yard line. There was no indication at the time that he had injured his wrist. But clearly, he wasn't getting over the injury quickly.
Seahawks receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba might miss Week 1 with injured wrist
Smith-Njigba might not have too much of an issue catching the ball after surgery, but the injury could be a hindrance when it comes to pushing off against defensive backs or blocking in the run game. As Smith-Njigba is expected to be a slot receiver, he will have even more of a responsibility with run-blocking. If he can't block, he could see fewer snaps.
Smith-Njigba has played well enough to cement his spot as WR3, but his temporary absence will open up more reps for players such as Jake Bobo and Dareke Young. The issue is that neither Bobo or Young is a slight receiver. The Seahawks don't have anyone else who can naturally take Smith-Njigba's place.
Again, he might be ready by Week 1. That the surgery is happening so quickly might be a good sign, oddly enough. It may mean the Seahawks think he can bounce back to be ready for Seattle's first game against the Rams. We should have a better indication in the next couple of days about how long he will be out.