Alabama QB Mac Jones on Jaylen Waddle's ankle injury: 'He's going to bounce back'
Mac Jones lost more than just one of his top wide receivers when Jaylen Waddle went down with a season-ending right ankle injury this past Saturday. The Alabama quarterback also now won’t get to play with a close teammate and a friend moving forward.
Waddle underwent surgery on his broken ankle after Saturday’s win over Tennessee. Before the junior wide receiver left Neyland Stadium, several of his teammates had the chance to see him, including Jones.
While speaking with the media on Monday, Jones detailed that encounter following Waddle’s injury.
“I think a lot of the guys saw him after the game in the ambulance, actually, walking back to the bus and I got to say a few words to him,” Jones told the media. “It’s hard to walk up to one of your closest friends and see him crying like that, just knowing that his season’s kind of over and he doesn’t know what his path looks like going forward.
“Just knowing Jaylen for the past couple of years, he’s one of the hardest workers I know, and he’s going to bounce back from something like this. And that’s kind of what I told him, and I shot him a text again yesterday. We’re all with Jaylen and he knows that if he needs anything, he can come reach out to us and we’ll help him in any way that we can.”
Mac Jones said it was very hard seeing one of his closest friends, Jaylen Waddle, in tears after the Tennessee game. pic.twitter.com/8AYY2qDpQr
— Michael Casagrande (@ByCasagrande) October 26, 2020
Through five games, Waddle had 25 receptions for 557 yards and four touchdowns as one of Alabama’s top wide receivers. It’s going to be tough for the Crimson Tide to replace him, and it’s unknown whether he’s played his final game for the school.
It was expected that Waddle was going to be taken early in the 2021 NFL Draft, and that could still be the case after he recovers. But it’s not a sure thing that he won’t be back at Alabama next fall.
In the meantime, Jones will lead Alabama into this Saturday’s home game against Mississippi State at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN as the Crimson Tide look to improve to 6-0.