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Alabama WR Jaylen Waddle to be used on 'limited basis' if he plays, per Nick Saban

Sam Cooper
·2-min read

It looks like Alabama will have receiver Jaylen Waddle available for Monday night’s College Football Playoff national championship game against Ohio State.

Alabama coach Nick Saban told ESPN that Waddle, who has been sidelined since Oct. 24 due to a fractured ankle, will be available “on a limited basis” if he can suit up. Waddle has been back in practice throughout the week. Saban said Waddle will make the final call.

“That decision is going to be up to him,” Saban told ESPN’s Allison Williams.

Waddle was cleared to practice last Tuesday and participated with his teammates in the lead-up to Monday night’s game.

Waddle last played Oct. 24, when he injured his ankle on the opening kickoff vs. Tennessee. Saban said last week that Waddle “wants to play” and has been “working hard to get back.”

Earlier Monday, Al.com reported that Waddle likely would play, but “a final determination” wouldn’t be made until after warmups:

It seems likely that Waddle plays versus Ohio State but a final determination won’t be made until after pre-game warmups, according to sources. After pre-game warmups, Waddle, his family and Alabama will meet and make a final decision on whether he’ll play in the game.

Alabama wide receiver Jaylen Waddle, center, celebrates with teammates DeVonta Smith, left, and John Metchie III, right, after scoring a touchdown during the first quarter of an NCAA college football game against Missouri, Saturday, Sept. 26, 2020, in Columbia, Mo. (AP Photo/L.G. Patterson)
Alabama wide receiver Jaylen Waddle, center, celebrates with teammates DeVonta Smith, left, and John Metchie III, right, after scoring a touchdown during the first quarter of an NCAA college football game against Missouri, Saturday, Sept. 26, 2020, in Columbia, Mo. (AP Photo/L.G. Patterson)

Waddle, when healthy, is one of the most dynamic offensive players in the sport. In four games in 2020, Waddle caught 25 passes for 557 yards and four touchdowns, including a 90-yarder in the 41-24 victory over Georgia.

In 33 games played over three seasons, Waddle has 103 catches for 1,965 yards and 17 touchdowns. He’s averaging 19.1 yards per reception for his college career.

In Waddle’s absence, John Metchie has emerged as Alabama’s No. 2 receiver alongside Heisman Trophy winner DeVonta Smith. Metchie has 47 catches for 835 yards and six scores while Smith has compiled 105 catches for 1,641 yards and 20 touchdowns.

Slade Bolden has moved into the slot and caught 21 passes for 254 yards. Waddle primarily worked out of the slot in the early part of the season.

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