Alabama’s leading pass-catcher, John Metchie III, is out with a “significant” ACL injury, coach Nick Saban said on Sunday.

The news comes on the same day No. 1 Alabama learned it would play No. 4 Cincinnati in the College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic on Dec. 31.

Metchie, who has 96 receptions, suffered the injury during Saturday’s win over Georgia in the SEC championship game and did not return.

ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay both rated Metchie as the No. 7 wide receiver available for the 2022 NFL draft prior to the injury.

Anticipating Metchie would be sidelined for an extended period of time, Saban said on Saturday that some young players would have the opportunity to step up.

Saban singled out Slade Bolden, who caught five passes for 54 yards against Georgia, as well as freshman Ja’Corey Brooks.

With Jameson Williams sidelined for the second half against Auburn in the regular-season finale, Brooks made multiple important receptions, including the game-tying touchdown with less than a minute remaining.

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