Alabama wide receiver Jameson Williams leaves in first half of CFP final after suffering left leg injury


INDIANAPOLIS — Alabama star receiver Jameson Williams injured his left leg early in the second quarter of Monday night’s game against Georgia in the College Football Playoff National Championship.

Williams, a junior from St. Louis, was hurt on a 40-yard catch on a pass from Heisman Trophy winner Bryce Young. Williams was wide open on the play, and he clutched his left leg before he was hit by cornerback Derion Kendrick.

Williams, while watching his team’s offensive drive, walked to the locker room with Alabama’s trainers shortly after being hurt. The series ended with an Alabama field goal.

Alabama ruled Williams out for the second half during the third quarter. With 8 minutes, 11 seconds left in the third, Williams returned to the sideline with a team official. He was dressed in his game jersey and sweatpants.

Williams came into the game with 75 catches for 1,507 yards with 15 touchdowns and averaged 20.1 yards per reception. He is rated the No. 1 wide receiver and No. 6 prospect available overall for the 2022 NFL draft by both ESPN’s Todd McShay and Mel Kiper Jr.

The No. 1 Crimson Tide were already playing without receiver John Metchie III, who suffered a torn ACL in his left knee on a noncontact play in a 41-24 victory against the Bulldogs in the SEC championship game on Dec. 4.

Not long after Williams left, ESPN’s Molly McGrath reported from the Georgia sideline in the second quarter that Bulldogs defensive coordinator Dan Lanning huddled his first team and told them, “This changes things.”

In his halftime interview on the field, Alabama coach Nick Saban told ESPN’s Holly Rowe that “we’ve got other players that have an opportunity there. There are a lot of young guys out there. They’ve got talent, so they’ve got to play with competitive character. They don’t have experience, but they’re going to get it tonight.”

Williams had four catches for 65 yards before leaving. Slade Bolden led the Tide with six receptions for 37 yards in the first half, and freshmen Ja’Corey Brooks and Agiye Hall combined for three more. Tight end Cameron Latu gained 70 yards on two catches, including a 61-yarder.

Alabama led 9-6 at the break.

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