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Dynasty Rookie Injury Concerns: Wide Receiver

We take a closer look at the injuries history of Quentin Johnston, Jaxon Smith-Njigba, and Tank Dell.

Jaxon Smith-Njigba

Every year heading into the NFL Draft, players get dinged for their medical history, causing them to slide. There was DK Metcalf with his neck in 2019, Nakobe Dean with his pectoral tear in 2022, and many others throughout the years. Some of the concern is warranted – Justyn Ross, for example – while others thrive at the next level in spite of injury concerns.

From a fantasy football perspective, the elite fantasy player will look to exploit perceived injury concerns to grab high-producing players at a discount. In today’s article, we look at some of the injury concerns in the 2023 wide receiver draft class, giving you the inside scoop on injury concerns moving forward!

Quentin Johnston, TCU

High school – Knee injury in senior year, missed portion of game.

Details are minimal regarding the specifics of the knee injury Johnston sustained during his senior year at Temple. It appeared minor due to the lack of available information.


2020 – Undisclosed injury, missed one game.

Johnston did not make the trip to Kansas during his freshman year due to an undisclosed injury. Other than reports stating he did not travel with the team, there is not any additional information as to what he was dealing with. It’s very possible he tested positive for COVID during the height of the pandemic, but unconfirmed. He was able to return the following week.

2021 – Hyperextended knee (side not specified) against Texas, missed one game.

Johnston suffered a hyperextended knee sometime during the game, only securing three receptions for 37 yards. He was forced to miss the following week against Texas Tech before returning to play against the Oklahoma Sooners and going off with seven receptions for 185 yards and three touchdowns.

2021- Undisclosed injury, missed two games.

Johnston did not play in the final two games of the regular season due to injury, according to the school site. However, there are not any reports regarding the specifics of the injury.

2022 – Right ankle injury, originally injured against West Virginia, missed one game.

Johnston suffered a right ankle injury. Specifically, he rolled the ankle and then played through the injury for the next three weeks before missing Iowa State. This was likely due to the Big 12 championship being the following week against Kansas State, which they lost in overtime. Based on the fact that reports stated he rolled it and he was able to play though, it suggests a low lateral ankle sprain.

Injury Analysis

Johnston has suffered his share of injuries throughout his time at TCU, missing five games. Every injury appears to be minor, never costing him more than a game or two at the time. He appears to be a baller who will play through injuries when able, but be mindful that if he does, this may temporarily limit his production.

The team he gets drafted to could cause him to drop potentially a spot in fantasy drafts based on usage. However, there should not be any hesitation in drafting the WR2 and fourth overall ranked player according to our DLF experts.

Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Ohio State

High School

2019 – Shoulder injury, side not specified.

Smith-Njigba took a shot to his shoulder early in the game while trying to catch a pass. Once he returned after a brief assessment, he sustained a blindsight hit to the shoulder, forcing his exit.

Imaging later showed that he avoided fracture or any significant injury. He missed the following game as a result. With how he took the hits, it’s likely he suffered an AC joint sprain.

2020 – Ankle injury, side not specified.

Smith-Njigba sustained an ankle injury practicing in San Antonio for the Under Armour All-American Bowl. Following the injury, he needed crutches but it’s not clear whether this was a high or low ankle sprain.


2020 – Undisclosed issue.

Smith-Njibga missed the Big Ten championship game for undisclosed reasons. Ohio State does not disclose injury or illness specifics prior to a game.

2022 – Left hamstring strain, missed ten total games.

Smith-Njigba appeared in three total games for the 2022 season. He originally injured the hamstring against Notre Dame.

Head coach Ryan Day stated it was a low-grade hamstring injury. He missed the following game and then played against Toledo, securing two receptions in the first half. He did not play in the second half.

Despite playing against Toledo, he missed the next three games before returning against Iowa. Reports did not indicate he suffered a re-injury, but he may have injured it again in practice.

During the Iowa game, he had one reception for seven yards before exiting. Reports later stated that he was on a pitch count, expecting to come out after 20 plays.

Even after the reduced workload, he missed the next six games as he rehabbed. He was unable to return for the season despite rehabbing. Reports also stated that he did not require surgery.

Injury Analysis

A problematic hamstring strain cost Smith-Njigba the majority of his 2022 season, but this should not be a concern moving forward. While there is a 30-38% chance of recurrence, he has given himself the time to fully rehab.

While I do not believe he will escape injury altogether at the next level, this hamstring injury should not become a lingering issue. His bigger concern may be his small sample size regarding his production at the collegiate level.

As the top-rated WR and second overall rookie according to our DLF experts, he is a safe pick no matter the landing spot.

DLF Dynasty Draft Coverage

Tank Dell, Houston

High School

2017 – Ankle injury, side unspecified.

Dell battled through an ankle injury during his senior year according to reports. It’s unknown if this cost him any time.


2018 Alabama A&M – Hip pointer, side not specified, missed five games.

Dell burst onto the scene his freshman year at Alabama A&M before a hip pointer slow him down, costing him five games. He was able to redshirt to preserve his eligibility before transferring to Independence CC and then to the University of Houston.

2021 University of Houston – Shoulder injury, side not specified,  missed three games.

He missed three games and four weeks overall as he recovered from a shoulder injury suffered against Tulane. Reports are minimal as to the specifics of the injury but it’s very possible he suffered an AC joint sprain.

2022 – Shoulder/leg injury, side not specified, missed zero games.

Dell went down awkwardly against Kansas, requiring the assistance of training staff. The beat reporter stated he fell on his shoulder while replies indicate that this was a leg issue, possibly a cramp.

Left leg/ankle injury, missed zero games.

Following a big catch against Rice, Dell fell to the turf as he injured his left leg. It’s not clear if this was more of a contusion or sprain, but he was able to return to play and did not miss any future time.


Missing eight games over three stops during his collegiate career, Dell has had a variety of injuries. As he is only 5’8” and 165 lbs. His small frame allows for him to rely on his speed in the return game, but this may expose him to frequent injuries as observed above.

Dell is currently WR12 and 37th overall according to our DLF rankers. I would wait to see where he is drafted and how he will be used before selecting him.

He may be best suited to be selected by a team that can afford to let him develop as he adapts to the next level. If he is thrust into heavy usage immediately, he may find himself on the injury report. Conversely, he may not see much production other than on special teams in his first year.

This is not a player worth chasing unless he gets into a great situation and even then, may have durability issues further limiting his production.

Follow me on Twitter @Kyletrimble88 for injury content.

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Dynasty Rookie Injury Concerns: Wide Receiver
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1 month ago

Great stuff, Kyle!

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