Well that sucks. Jaxon Smith-Njigba is a massive weapon a lot of Ohio State fans were hoping might return for the payoffs. He started just three games this season grabbing 5 passes for 43 yards before suffering a hamstring injury. Not quite the Junior year he or the Buckeye faithful were hoping for.
He'll rest up for the NFL draft, which I know will piss off a lot of
angry middle-aged men fans.
I don't blame kids for skipping bowl games. No reason to fumble the bag over a meaningless exhibition named after a regional insurance company or mayonnaise manufacturer. Unless of course you are one of the elite athletes slated to play in the Barstool Arizona Bowl. Then you should Ronnie Lott your finger if that's what it takes to get yourself on the field.
But this isn't some random bowl on a Wednesday that only exists to distract us from our miserable job for three hours. This is the playoffs with a legitimate shot to win a national title. I'm no doctor but damn it would have been nice to get him back on the field. Even at less than 100% he's a guy the Georgia Bulldogs would have to game plan for.
So should he have toughed it out and suited up on New Years Eve? Easy for me to say. I ate a brownie for breakfast and my knee swells up every time I run on the treadmill lately. But I do know he is going to get a lot of hate for this decision online. In fact, it's already started.
You just know that was in the back of his head when he gave the OK to make the formal announcement that he wasn't playing. The only thing worse than knowing you're about to get the business end of a Dave Portnoy Twitter taunting is watching the clock tick down towards zero during a loss and off in the distance you can hear James Droz's voice saying, "What happeneduhhhh?!"
But Dave of all people should know about how debilitating an injury can be. After all, he has the worst shoulder in the history of modern medicine (Ts & Ps). And we have seen it make him look like a guy who has never shot a jumper before.
And we have seen it make him look like he can't throw a basketball more than 11 feet.
Do you think Smith-Njigba wants to line up against Georgia and look like Dave did in these videos? Absolutely not. His draft stock would tank faster than FTX when that nerdy, man-boobed con artist had his entire ponzi scheme exposed.
So if anyone should understand what Smith-Njigba is going through its Dave. If he continues to make fun of him it's just plain hypocritical. Not that I should expect anything else from a Michigan fan.
Jaxon is a consensus first round pick and some mocks have him going as high as the top 10. That means he is probably going to cash in somewhere between $13-$25 Million on his rookie deal. Seems completely reasonable not to risk that kind of bread, especially since the committee decided to be cowards and not give us the rematch we all wanted.
So I place the blame of him not playing squarely on the playoff committee. There's no way he would have been able to pass up a shot at torching the maize and blue in the playoffs. They took away our last chance to watch him as a Buckeye.
I guess as fans we'll just have to settle for these insane highlights from his historical Rose Bowl performance last season.