Jaylen Waddle returning to Alabama practice ahead of title game against Ohio State
NFL 

Alabama wide receiver Jaylen Waddle is expected to return to the practice field Tuesday, according to people familiar with Waddle’s situation. 

The Crimson Tide are scheduled to play Ohio State in the College Football Playoff championship game Monday in Miami Gardens, Florida.

Waddle has been sidelined since being hurt on the game's opening kickoff against Tennessee, on Oct. 24. He missed the following seven games with an ankle injury as Alabama finished the regular season unbeaten and defeated Notre Dame in the Rose Bowl semifinal.

"He's been running, but we need to see him in practice," Alabama coach Nick Saban told ESPN. "Our medical people will evaluate him as the week goes on and make a decision from there. He wants to play and has been working hard to get back."

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Before the injury, Waddle was one of the top receiving threats in the country. He had 25 catches for 557 yards and four touchdowns in the team's first four games. 

In Waddle’s absence, DeVonta Smith became a Heisman Trophy favorite and took on  punt return responsibilities. Several kick return experiments tried and failed before Alabama settled on tight end Jahleel Billingsley in the postseason.

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