Jaylen Waddle got hurt on his first play for Alabama football.
When you play against a clearly inferior opponent, all you can hope for is to avoid disasters. The exact opposite happened for Alabama football on their first play of the game. Jaylen Waddle returned a kickoff to begin the game, and he went down with an ankle injury.
No one knows the current details regarding Waddle’s injury, but it did not look good. He was in obvious pain as soon as he was tackled, and he immediately went to the locker room without putting any weight on his right ankle.
If Waddle is out for an extended amount of time, it will be devastating for the Crimson Tide offense. Waddle has been playing like the best wide receiver in college football. He has gotten over 100 receiving yards in every game so far in 2020.
As long as Waddle is out, the Tide will focus on DeVonta Smith and the rest of their wide receivers. John Metchie has been a great third option for Alabama, and he will now be the second receiver. Slade Bolden will be taking reps as Waddle’s replacement, and he has already played well early in this game.
Bolden will also be the starting punt returner until Waddle comes back, and he might keep that role for the rest of the season. In the summer, we wrote about the risks of having Jaylen Waddle return punts and kickoffs for the Crimson Tide. He’s the best in the country, but we said that he was too valuable to lose. Alabama football might have just lost him due to special teams against an inferior opponent.
Against Tennessee and Alabama’s future opponents, Waddle won’t be needed for Alabama to win. His absence will be evident later in the season if Alabama makes it to the SEC Championship and the College Football Playoff.
Right now, any talk about the future is pure speculation. Alabama football fans simply hope that Jaylen Waddle will be healthy soon.