Seahawks coach Pete Carroll says WR Jaxon Smith-Njigba will play Week 1 despite wrist injury

The Seahawks drafted Jaxon Smith-Njigba with the No. 20 pick this spring. (AP Photo/Lindsey Wasson)

By the time the Seattle Seahawks face the Los Angeles Rams in Week 1, wide receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba will have been three weeks removed from a wrist injury that required surgery. And yet, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll told reporters Wednesday that Smith-Njigba will play in that game.

Smith-Njigba sustained the injury during Seattle’s Aug. 19 preseason match against the Dallas Cowboys while he was being tackled on a long catch in the second quarter.

Carroll initially called the injury a “slight fracture” that would required surgery with an expected timeline to return of three to four weeks — which put him in striking distance of a possible Week 1 appearance. A week later, Smith-Njigba was running drills and catching passes at practice.

While Smith-Njigba may indeed play, it’s unclear if he’ll get a full slate of snaps as he continues to recover from surgery. It’s not like the Seahawks need him, either, with veterans DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett ready to go. But Smith-Njigba’s precense would be a huge boon for himself and the team after the Seahawks took him No. 20 in the 2023 NFL draft. He caught six passes for 83 yards in two preseason games this season before the injury.

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