Alabama Receiver Jaylen Waddle Warms Up For CFP Title Game
Alabamas Heisman Trophy-winning receiver DeVonta Smith injured his right hand Monday night in the College Football Playoff national championship game.
Smith went to the medical tent early in the third quarter after a huge first half against Ohio State. He was later taken to the locker room.
Smith was hit trying to bring in a pass and appeared to jam his hand against a defender. ESPN reported his return was questionable.
Smith made 12 catches for 215 yards and three touchdowns in the first half. He passed Vanderbilt’s Jordan Matthews to become the Southeastern Conference’s career leader in receiving yards.
Meanwhile, fellow star receiver Jaylen Waddle returned from an ankle injury that sidelined him most of the season. He made a key third-down catch on Alabama’s opening drive and played more after that despite limping around on the sidelines.
The junior speedster had not played since breaking his ankle against Tennessee on Oct. 24. He returned to practice last week. Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban told ESPN before the game that if Waddle played, it would be on a limited basis.
Limited but significant early, at least.
Quarterback Mac Jones flipped a pass to Waddle coming across the middle for a 15-yard third-down conversion. Waddle appeared to be limping after the play.
But it kept alive a drive that ended with Najee Harris’s one-yard touchdown run.
Playing in five games this season, Waddle had 25 catches for 557 yards (22.28 yards per catch) and four touchdowns. His 19.1-yard career average per catch is second only to Ozzie Smith in Alabama history.
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