KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — His season is over.
Alabama junior wide receiver Jaylen Waddle was injured on the opening kickoff of the game against Tennessee, with Nick Saban later confirming that the young wideout had suffered a high-ankle sprain as well as a fracture.
Saban also told CBS at halftime that Waddle was out for the rest of the season.
"He's out," Saban told CBS. "He's out. He's out for the year.
"It's a shame because he's such a great player, it's exciting for college football to see a player play like that. I hate it, when he gets hurt on a play like that. You know, you're not supposed to bring the ball out when you're that deep in the end zone, but he's a great player so, you have to let him use his judgement."
After fielding the opening kickoff, Waddle cut left and was tackled on the Alabama sideline. Waddle immediately hit the ground with his hands, tried to stand up, but hopped favoring his left ankle to the bench.
The Crimson Tide's medical staff attended to him immediately, but no more than a few minutes after beginning his examination carried him to the medical cart on the sideline and he disappeared into the locker room.
Waddle has been a large part of the Crimson Tide's passing success so far this season. Through four games, Waddle has accounted for 25 receptions for 557 yards and four touchdowns. He has also had three rushes for 12 total yards.
Waddle has been widely considered as one of the top receivers in the country this year and has even been included in some talks as a candidate for the Heisman Trophy.
This story will be updated as more information is gathered.
UPDATE (First Quarter): Reports now indicate that his injury is indeed to his right ankle, but the severity of the injury is still unknown. Redshirt-sophomore wide receiver Slade Bolden has taken over Waddle's spot as both the punt returner as well as wide receiver.
On Alabama's first drive after the Waddle injury, Bolden acquired two receptions for 42 yards.
According to CBS's Jamie Erdahl, Waddle is still being evaluated in the locker room. He is confirmed as questionable to return to today's game.
UPDATE No. 2 (First Quarter): Waddle has been officially ruled out of today's game, per CBS. He was last seen being loaded into an ambulance and appeared to be wearing a cast on his right ankle/foot.
UPDATE No. 3 (Halftime): When entering the locker room at the half, Saban confirmed that Waddle is out for the season. No specific injury was cited, but it can be assumed that Waddle suffered a fracture in his right lower leg.