Jaguars No. 1 running back James Robinson sat out for the majority of his team’s game vs. Rams game on Sunday following a fumble on the team’s opening possession. It was the second week in a row Robinson rode the bench for an extended period of time following a fumble.
Robinson missed the next three drives following his fumble before the Jaguars put him back in the game — during the last drive, down 37-7. He carried the ball three out of the four plays on the final drive for 8 yards.
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What makes this move odd, though, is that Robinson is dealing with a heel and knee injury. He suffered the heel injury in Week 8, then missed Week 9 before returning in Week 10 (which is when he suffered the knee injury). He was questionable heading into the Rams game after not practicing the week before. So, when Robinson sat out for the majority of the game, he expected to not be put back.
It was confusing to Robinson and Jags fans.
“I’m not sure what the point of that was,” Robinson said when discussing the decision in a Monday interview
After the game, Robinson discussed his injury concerns, which made people question Urban Meyer’s choice of bringing him back in even more. Meyer also discussed Robinson’s injury during the postgame news conference on Sunday, deflecting those questions to running backs coach Bernie Parmalee.
“You’d have to ask Coach Parmalee. I don’t get too involved. I don’t micromanage that,” Meyer said during the news conference. “I know he’s been dinged up, so I don’t know if he’s back with the tent or what’s going on, but I know there’s injury involved.”
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James Robinson is coming on the field my friends… he sat for 20 plays after the fumble.
— Brent Martineau (@BrentASJax) December 5, 2021
On Monday, Meyer seemed to agree that it wasn’t smart to put Robinson back in the game. This caused people to question the Jaguars operation, and if it’s being run smoothly and/or the way Meyer wants it.
“That’s a good question. I know that there’s a running back rotation. 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. “I’m aware of it, I’m not in charge of it but I’ll watch it and say, ‘What are our thoughts here? What are our thoughts there?’ Obviously, I didn’t do it there, with James.”
“I don’t believe it’s — no, it’s not. On my end it’s not true at all.” — #Jaguars HC Urban Meyer on the perception that James Robinson is being punished more harshly for his mistakes than other players on the team who make mistakes
— John Shipley (@_John_Shipley) December 6, 2021
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Robinson felt like he had been “benched” during the Rams game on Sunday. He admitted that the fumbles shouldn’t happen, but he felt like there was a disconnect between him and the coaches.
Jaguars fans are upset that Jacksonville has been benching the team’s lead rusher. Robinson currently has rushed 678 yards in 11 games, while his backup, Carlos Hyde, ranks second on the team with 251 yards.