Alabama vs Ohio State CFP National Championship Injury, COVID and Opt Outs Report/Updates

Justin Fields Ohio State Buckeyes

Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields runs against Clemson during the first half of the Sugar Bowl NCAA college football game Friday, Jan. 1, 2021, in New Orleans. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
  • #1 Alabama clashes with #3 Ohio State in the CFP National Championship on Monday (Jan. 11, 8 pm EST)
  • OSU star quarterback Justin Fields is probable after a vicious hit in the Sugar Bowl, while Bama is still holding out hope that wide receiver Jaylen Waddle will be able to return from an ankle injury
  • See below for the injury reports of both teams and how potential key absences could affect the outcome

After a one year hiatus, #1 Alabama is back in the College Football National Championship game. The Undefeated Crimson Tide will clash with #3 Ohio State on Monday (Jan. 11, 8 pm EST), looking for their third title since the new playoff format was adopted.

Oddsmakers certainly expect Alabama to triumph over Ohio State, as the Tide are currently listed as heavy 9-point favorites. The Buckeyes are no strangers to the underdog role, having upset #2 Clemson in the Sugar Bowl, and it appears that star quarterback Justin Fields will be good to go on Monday.

Fields Suffers Scare vs Tigers

Buckeyes nation was left holding their breathe after Fields absorbed a vicious hit from Tigers linebacker James Skalski midway through the second quarter of the Sugar Bowl, but the future Sunday star barely missed a beat.

He finished the game with 385 passing yards and 6 TD, four of which came after that crushing blow. There were concerns Fields may be more hurt than he was letting on, but he assured everyone this week that he’ll be on the field on Monday.

Ohio State Injury Report

Player Position Injury Status
Cameron Brown CB Achilles OUT
Mookie Cooper WR Undisclosed QUEST
Jacolbe Cowan DL Undisclosed OUT
Aaron Cox DL Undisclosed QUEST
Tommy Eichenberg LB Undisclosed QUEST
Justin Fields QB Undisclosed PROB
Tyler Friday DL Undisclosed QUEST
Patrick Gurd TE Undisclosed OUT
Haskell Garrett DT Undisclosed QUEST
Jaylen Harris WR Undisclosed OUT
Paris Johnson JR. OL Undisclosed QUEST
Cade Kacherski LB Undisclosed OUT
Jagger LaRoe QB Undisclosed QUEST
Roen McCullough S Undisclosed OUT
Lloyd McFarquhar CB Undisclosed QUEST
Jaden McKenzie DT Undisclosed OUT
Jack Miller QB Illness QUEST
Joe Royer TE Undisclosed QUEST
Ben Schmiesing LB Undisclosed QUEST
Ryan Smith OL Undisclosed QUEST
Alec Taylor OL Undisclosed QUEST
Master Teague RB Undisclosed QUEST
Daniel Vanatsky QB Undisclosed OUT
Kourt Williams S Knee OUT

Although the rest of the Ohio State injury list looks unusually long, the majority of the undisclosed cases are all COVID related. The Buckeyes were hit hard by the virus, forcing nearly two dozen players to miss the Big Ten Championship game, but all of their key starters are expected to be in the lineup versus the Tide.

2021 CFP National Championship Odds Tracker

Holding Out Hope for Waddle

As for Alabama, they’re about as healthy as any team could hope for after a long season with a few exceptions. Starting center Landon Dickerson will miss his second straight game with a knee injury, but luckily the Tide have an experienced lineman backing him up. Chris Owens started four games at the beginning of 2019 and filled in admirably for Dickerson in the Rose Bowl.

There were some concerns about stud slot corner Malachi Moore, but he’s not even on the injury report and is reportedly good to go.

The name worth monitoring however, is wide receiver Jaylen Waddle. The projected first round pick in this year’s NFL Draft hasn’t played since suffering an ankle injury on October 24th, but the Tide are holding out hope he’ll be on the field on Monday.

Alabama Injury Report

Player Position Injury Status
Landon Dickerson OL Knee OUT
Labryan Ray DL Elbow QUEST
Trey Sanders RB Undisclosed OUT
Jaylen Waddle WR Ankle QUEST

He was back at practice this week and has officially been cleared to play, but it will be up to him whether or not he suits up. Less than three months removed from surgery, and with a future in the NFL to think about, it would be understandable if sits this one out, but that would be an incredibly tough decision to make.

Per Pro Football Focus, Waddle is the only wide receiver in college football with a perfect passer rating when targeted (min. 25 attempts), and is an all-SEC return specialist.

Make no mistake, the Alabama offense hasn’t missed a beat without him, averaging 48 points in the seven games he’s missed, but another weapon at Mac Jones’ disposal is the last thing the Buckeyes defense wants to see.

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