Even Jaguars star James Robinson has no idea what Urban Meyer is doing



James Robinson is as confused as everyone else as to how Urban Meyer handled him on Sunday.

The Jaguars running back committed a key fumble in the team’s first drive during the Week 13 game against the Rams – a 37-7 loss – when all-world defensive tackle Aaron Donald ripped the ball from his hands. He sat out the team’s next three drives, spelled by Carlos Hyde.

Action Sports Jax asked Robinson if he felt like he was “benched,” to which he said, “I would say so.” But Meyer, the Jaguars’ beleaguered head coach, said after the game his absence was injury related. The second-year back was a game-time decision for Sunday’s matchup with Los Angeles, nursing heel and knee injuries, but ended up being active.

Why, then, did Robinson return in the third quarter and get three carries in garbage time, with the team down by 30 points? It’s a question that Action Sports Jax host Dan Hicken proposed – with an appropriate level of frustration.

“If you’re beat up, that makes no sense for you to be in the game, at the end of the game,” Hicken said.

“I knew the game was over by that point, but probably should have been resting,” Robinson replied. “I’m not sure what the point of that was.”

It’s a bad look for Meyer, who is collecting quite a wardrobe of them during his first year as an NFL head coach in Jacksonville. The 57-year-old walked back his original statement when pressed on Monday, seemingly implying that running backs coach Bernie Parmalee took Robinson out of the rotation. He also claimed it was Parmalee’s decision to re-insert him at the end of the game.

James Robinson fumbles against the Rams.
James Robinson fumbles against the Rams.

“We’re worried about his load and how many carries—and they track that. Obviously, at that point in the game, they must’ve wanted to get him a few more carries, Bernie did,” Meyer said Monday.

Urban Meyer on the Jaguars' sideline
Urban Meyer on the Jaguars’ sideline
Getty Images

But Meyer is the head coach and is responsible for the whole operation.

Meyer agreed with reporters on Monday that bringing Robinson back in for garbage time was a bad idea. He’s had a few this season: getting drunk at a Columbus bar while a woman who is not his wife danced on his lap, signing Tim Tebow to play tight end, hiring a strength coach accused of past racist behavior and refusing to give first-overall draft pick Trevor Lawrence first-team reps in training camp.

And that all happened in the past year. Let’s not forget any of the controversial moves he made throughout his years at Ohio State and Florida.


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