Nick Saban shares the latest on Jaylen Waddle following surgery, Alabama's plan to replace All-American's production
It’s still tough the think about Jaylen Waddle being out for the season but that’s the reality facing Nick Saban’s Alabama program moving forward for the rest of the season.
If you missed it, Waddle was injured on the opening kickoff of the Tennessee game. While being tackled on the play, Waddle suffered a broken ankle.
Following Waddle’s injury, Slade Bolden was asked to step up for the Crimson Tide against the Vols. Bolden finished the game with six catches for 94 yards against Tennessee.
The way Saban tells it, Bolden will have his hands full replacing Waddle in the lineup. Taking that into consideration, it will be on Alabama’s coaching staff to not ask Bolden to do too much.
“You can’t replace a guy like Jaylen Waddle, in terms of what his ability is. It’s no different than losing Allen Iverson — guy scores 30-40 points a game — that type of impact player,” Saban said on Monday. “But we can do the type of things he does well.
“(Bolden) doesn’t need to be anyone but himself and we don’t put expectations on him, we just want him to be the best player that he can be, relative to what he can do. How can we get other players at the receiver position to step up and also do some things they are capable of to help us be able to continue to have success with the receivers that we have.”
During his first press conference of Mississippi State Week, Saban also provided the latest update on Waddle.
“They did the surgery (Saturday) night, he’s been the hospital since, he’s been kinda groggy,” Saban continued. “He was going to come and see me today but he just got back and I’m probably going to talk to him today or tomorrow. The surgery was very successful, the long-term prognosis for his surgery is very good.
“Derrick Henry had this surgery here, Kenyan Drake had this surgery here. It’s a difficult timetable to know when a guy can come back from something like this. That’s something that’s going to be ongoing, probably 6-8 weeks before he can really start, real heavy rehab, relative to your position – how fast you can come back – is really up in the air.”