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Who will miss the 2021 National Championship due to injury and/or COVID-19

The College Football Playoff National Championship Game will likely have some late roster moves. We take a look at who’s in and who’s out for the biggest game of the year.

Wide receiver DeVonta Smith of the Alabama Crimson Tide celebrates his touchdown with teammate wide receiver John Metchie III in the first quarter of the 2021 College Football Playoff Semifinal Game at the Rose Bowl Game presented by Capital One against Notre Dame Fighting Irish at AT&T Stadium on January 01, 2021 in Arlington, Texas. Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images

Update 10:54 p.m. Heisman Trophy winner DeVonta Smith injured his hand in the second half and is questionable to return.

Update 8:34 p.m. Trey Sermon appeared to take a shoulder injury on the opening drive for the Buckeyes.

Update 7:20 p.m. Here’s a look at Jaylen Waddle warming up, it appears with a very slight limp while sprinting.

Update 7:07 p.m. Here is the entire unavailable list for Ohio State. It shows that most of the rumored COVID-19 issues for Ohio State have come to fruition.

Update 7:00 p.m. Ohio State kicker Blake Haubiel didn’t make the trip to Miami due to COVID-19.

Update 6:45 p.m. We don’t know how this might be, but if it’s Master Teague other key contributors, we’ll put them in here as soon as we know.

Update 6:35 p.m.

Update 6:30 p.m. On Jaylen Waddle from Nick Saban:

Update 6:15 p.m. Here’s how Jaylen Waddle will decide if he’s going to play tonight.

Update: 3:45 p.m. We expect the next round of official updates from the teams at about 6:45 p.m. tonight, but the Twitter buzz is that Jaylen Waddle looks to be a go for Alabama, and of course Justin Fields should play as well.


While healthy players rarely skipped bowl games a decade ago, the practice has grown in popularity among college athletes in recent years. The pandemic-affected 2020 season has seen even more opt outs than usual, with players choosing to skip the season before it began or leaving their respective teams to prepare for the NFL draft.

The College Football Playoff National Championship is no exception to these trends, as both the Alabama Crimson Tide and Ohio State Buckeyes expect multiple players to miss the game due to injury.

Alabama roster update

Injury

Starting center Landon Dickerson hurt his knee during the SEC Championship and won’t be available. But Jaylen Waddle is listed as questionable after an ankle injury on October 24th seemed to end his season. But if he plays, the dynamic wide receiver makes the best offense in college football even potent.

Defensive lineman Labryan Ray is questionable with an elbow, but backup running back Trey Sanders is out.

Coaching change

Alabama offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian has been named head coach at Texas, but will still be in charge for this game.

Ohio State roster update

Injury

Quarterback Justin Fields took a huge hit during the Clemson game, but appears to be ok. Although he’s technically listed as “probable” for “undisclosed” reasons, we all know it’s because of the hit and he’s admitted as much. Running back Miyan Williams did not make the trip to Miami with the Buckeyes.

Here’s the official list of players that are “questionable” for “undisclosed” reasons from Ohio State. Some of these are likely COVID related as well:

WR Mookie Cooper
DL Aaron Cox
LB Tommy Eichenberg
DL Tyler Friday
DT Haskell Garrett
OL Paris Johnson JR.
QB Jagger LaRoe
CB Lloyd McFarquhar
TE Joe Royer
LB Ben Schmiesing
OL Ryan Smith
OL Alec Taylor
RB Master Teague

Master Teague would be the biggest loss, as the backup to starter Trey Sermon is an NFL prospect himself, and has 89 rushes for 449 yards and six touchdowns this season for the Buckeyes. He was injured against Northwestern in the Big Ten Championship Game.

COVID-19

Rumors are both Tommy Togiai and Tyreke Smith both appear to be out due to the virus, and starting kicker Blake Haubeil and backup Dominic DiMaccio might be in quarantine, which would leave the kicking duties to freshman Jake Seibert. Seibert is 13-13 on PAT’s this season, but 0-1 on field goals after Haubeil hurt his groin earlier this season.