Alabama Football News

Alabama WR Jaylen Waddle is ‘doing well’ and ‘wants to come back and play,’ per Nick Saban

Jaylen Waddle and John Metchie shake hands
Mandatory Credit: Gary Cosby Jr/The Tuscaloosa News via USA TODAY Sportst

He desires to be back with his teammates, and Jaylen Waddle is pushing to do it.

After sustaining a serious ankle injury versus Tennessee, which required surgery, Nick Saban announced the talented wide receiver would miss the remainder of the season. Since then, credible sources told yours truly of Touchdown Alabama Magazine about the junior being ‘ahead of schedule’ in his recovery process and that there was ‘growing optimism’ for him to possibly return for the College Football Playoff. I was told he would have the cast removed this week from his right leg.

RELATED: SOURCES: Alabama WR Jaylen Waddle ‘ahead of schedule’ in recovering from injury, could be back for CFP

On Thursday, Saban confirmed this information on his “Hey Coach” show.

He said Waddle is doing well and is now in a walking boot.

“We’re very encouraged,” Saban said. “Everybody thinks he’s doing really, really well. … He told me that he wants to try to come back and play, but we’re certainly not going to let that happen until he’s fully 100 percent healthy.”

Before the injury, the native Texan totaled 557 yards receiving with four touchdowns on 25 catches.

He was averaging 22.3 yards per catch, 111.4 yards per game and had four straight 100-yard games — including a career-high 161 yards versus Georgia in a 41-24 win over the Bulldogs. Waddle was a preseason candidate for the Fred Biletnikoff Award and was having a stellar year prior to the incident. Not only is he explosive on the field, but he also carries an energy off the field that his teammates love. Hopefully, Waddle will continue to recover and find his way back to action for the Crimson Tide.

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Stephen M. Smith is the managing editor and senior writer for Touchdown Alabama Magazine.  You can “like” him on Facebook or “follow” him on Twitter, via @CoachingMSmith.

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