Alabama star wide receiver John Metchie III is feared to have suffered a torn ACL during the Crimson Tide’s 41-24 win over Georgia on Saturday, according to ESPN’s Mark Schlabach. Metchie suffered the injury late in the first half of the SEC Championship Game after turning back on a route and appearing to have his knee pop. He was able to walk off the field under his own power but did not return in the second half.
During an appearance on the College Football Playoff selection show on Sunday, where it was revealed the Crimson Tide earned the No. 1 seed in the four-team field, coach Nick Saban would not confirm a torn ACL but revealed the prognosis is not good.
“Not confirmed, but [he] has a significant knee injury,” Saban said. “We have some young wide receivers who are going to have to step up.”
Metchie missing time would be a huge hit to Alabama’s offense — and, not to mention, his NFL Draft stock. The Canadian led the Crimson Tide with 90 catches and posted 1,045 yards and seven touchdowns entering the title game. If Metchie can’t go, Jameson Williams will be the only Alabama receiver on the roster that entered Saturday with more than 300 yards receiving.
Despite Metchie’s absence, Alabama quarterback Bryce Young put together a legendary performance against the top-ranked Georgia defense. Young threw for 421 yards — an SEC title game record — three touchdowns and rushed for another score. Heading into the game, Georgia’s defense had not allowed more than 17 points. With Metchie sidelined, five-star freshman Ja’Corey Brooks and sophomore Traeshon Holden both caught passes.
Alabama is set to meet No. 4 Cincinnati in the Cotton Bowl semifinal on Friday, Dec. 31 in Arlington, Texas.