Jaylen Waddle played in Monday night’s championship game, but clearly wasn’t 100 percent.
Waddle suffered a broken ankle in late October and was supposed to miss the rest of the season. Luckily, the Tide’s extended season allowed Waddle just enough time to recover and suit up.
Saban admitted before the game the decision to play in the title game would be up to Waddle. The electric slot couldn’t pass down the opportunity. During Alabama’s opening offensive possession, Waddle caught a short pass and converted it for a first down. He did so limping for most of the catch and run.
Welcome back Jaylen Waddle
— PFF College (@PFF_College) January 12, 2021
NFL players are sending one main message to Waddle this evening: stop playing. Why? Waddle has an NFL future ahead of him and there’s no point in risking further injury in the championship game.
Who advised 17 for Bama to play? Whoever it is definitely doesn’t have his best interest at heart. As a competitor, I understand why he would want to play, but no way he should be out there with the future he has ahead. I hope he can stay safe.
— Jalen Ramsey (@jalenramsey) January 12, 2021
Respect the heart! But you can’t let that man be out there! https://t.co/QqaXYQ1EEX
— Patrick Mahomes II (@PatrickMahomes) January 12, 2021
Cmon nick don’t let Waddle do this, he’s hurt and shouldn’t be out there! Cmon bro! Sometimes you gotta protect players from themselves!
— Darius Leonard (@dsleon45) January 12, 2021
Waddle making me nervous🥴 they needa take him out
— Darius Slayton (@Young_Slay2) January 12, 2021
Waddle is forcing this game , get healthy for the NFL.
— DeShon Elliott (@OfficialShon_4) January 12, 2021
Keep waddle out of the game… I know you love the game brotha but you not playing tonight is best for your future
— Dez Bryant (@DezBryant) January 12, 2021
There’s no question Jaylen Waddle has proved his love for the game of football. But it’s really not worth it. Waddle is an NFL player and another injury could cost him millions of dollars.
The projected future first round pick clearly wants to compete in the title game, but in reality the Tide don’t exactly need him. Alabama is rich with offense playmakers, including superstars DeVonta Smith and Najee Harris.
It’s his choice, obviously. But if it were up to current NFL players, they’d advise Waddle to sit out the rest of Monday’s title game.
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