What if Jaylen Waddle can play again for Alabama football?
Heading into 2020, all Alabama football fans were excited to see Jaylen Waddle. After two years of playing behind multiple first-round stars, this was supposed to be the time where he became the best player on the team. He looked just like that early in the season, but things took a turn for the worse when he broke his ankle and was listed as out for the season.
Despite this devastating diagnosis, there is some optimism regarding his return. He is healing quickly, and there is a small chance that he will be able to play in the postseason for the Crimson Tide. I don’t want to get fans’ hopes up, but there is at least a possibility that Jaylen Waddle will play Alabama football once again.
While the odds are stacked against him, what would his return mean for Alabama? The offense will be good without him, but they will be better than they were before if he returns fully healthy.
This should be obvious, but Waddle’s injury gives other guys a chance to expand their roles. John Metchie is learning how to be a WR2. Smitty is facing off against each defense’s best cornerbacks. Slade Bolden is turning into a quality starter. In the future, a few freshmen will likely carve out significant roles in the offense.
This will make Alabama football better, but the key is to add Waddle back into the mix. He will be a catalyst for the offense. DeVonta Smith will get to go back to facing second-tier corners after spending months going against top guys. Metchie will be forgotten in the mix, which is when he is most dangerous. Even Miller Forristall at tight end will improve as a receiver over the coming months.
However, all that matters is the end result. Alabama football can win a national championship without Jaylen Waddle, and they can certainly win one with him. They could also lose one with or without him. However, I cannot fathom a single defense that could stop Waddle, an improved DeVonta Smith, and John Metchie as WR3.
Don’t get your hopes up, but Alabama will be exponentially more dominant if Jaylen Waddle can somehow come back in 2020.