Alabama’s two losses in the 2022 regular season with one game remaining have left Crimson Tide fans frustrated and desperate for answers. For just about any other program in the country, the opportunity to end the year with a 10-2 record would be a dream come true.
While unlikely, Alabama still has a shot at making the college football playoffs and fighting for a national championship.
When the Crimson Tide misses the playoffs for the second time since 2014, the team is playing in a Featured Bowl game.
Since the bowl game would have no impact on the championship, some players could choose to sit out to ensure their health and put themselves in the best possible position for the 2023 NFL draft.
Fans and the media may complain about players unsubscribing from bowl games, but can we blame those players?
Go back to earlier in 2022 when Jameson Williams tore his ACL in the national championship game against Georgia. The former Crimson Tide star receiver has not played in one NFL game and was only recently allowed to return to practice.
Injuries can happen to anyone at any time, regardless of the situation or the context of the game. With no championship at stake, should these players be risking millions of dollars for an injury?
A recent article by 247Sports named key players from top programs across the country who could reasonably drop out of their team’s bowl game.
“The key players to watch are Bryce Young and Will Anderson Jr., but there are certainly others for the Crimson Tide – including Jordan Battle, Brian Branch, Malachi Moore and Jahmyr Gibbs – who might choose to do so to sit for that team’s New Year’s Six appearance for an early start in the 2023 NFL Draft. For quality first-rounders like Young and Anderson, the decision becomes easier for postseason players who aren’t fighting for a national championship.”
These players have been critical to Alabama’s success over the past few seasons and the key to brilliant flashes on both sides of the ball in 2022. If the team misses the CFP, the Iron Bowl could be the last time any of these players will be seen enters the field member of the Crimson Tide.
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Story originally appeared on Roll Tide Wire