Jaylen Waddle flown to Birmingham after
- Mike Rodak | firstname.lastname@example.org
October 24, 2020
Alabama coach Nick Saban said wide receiver Jaylen
Waddle will be flown to Birmingham by private jet
Saturday evening and could undergo surgery on a
Photo Credit - Crimson Tide Photos / UA Athletics
Although Saban told CBS at halftime that Waddle is
out for the season, the coach left the door slightly
open for Waddle’s return in his postgame video news
“It’s really a sad time for me, for Jaylen Waddle,
for his family,” Saban said. "It’s a high-ankle
sprain, but also a fracture. They’ll probably have
to do surgery on him.
“We’re going to fly him back privately with the
doctors and take him right to Birmingham, and see
what we have to do right away. If that’s the case
-- and we’re pretty certain that it is -- then he
would probably be out for the year.”
Saban compared the injury Waddle suffered on the
opening kickoff of Saturday’s game at Tennessee to
the one experienced by former Alabama running back
Kenyan Drake in 2014.
Waddle’s right ankle was fractured when he was tackled
at the end of his kickoff return that he took out of
the end zone.
“You’re not supposed to bring a ball out when you’re
that deep in the end zone, but he’s a great player,
so you got to let him use his judgment," Saban told
CBS at halftime.
Waddle, a junior who topped 100 receiving yards in
each of the first four games this season, is eligible
to enter the NFL draft after this season.
“The guy is a great player,” Saban said. “He’s a
great teammate. He’s an exciting player to watch.
I hate it that people in college football can’t see
a great player the rest of this season, but we had
some other guys step up tonight and it will create
an opportunity for somebody else. We’re going to
coach the players that we have, and do the best we
can to try to get better.”
Without Waddle, the Tide still managed 587 yards of
offense in a 48-17 win. John Metchie led the team
with seven catches for 151 yards, while Slade Bolden
-- who effectively replaced Waddle in the offense --
caught six passes for 94 yards while losing a fumble.
“[The injury] was tough,” Metchie said. “Of course,
it’s tough hearing that with everything that’s going
on as the game is going on, and having to hear that
one of your brothers went down. But I think we
responded well and were focusing on the most important
thing, which is the next play at hand.”
Metchie said players heard about the injury on the
sideline later in the first quarter.
Mike Rodak is an Alabama beat reporter for Alabama
Media Group. Follow him on Twitter @mikerodak.