Jaguars No. 1 running back James Robinson was absent for most of his team’s game against the Rams Sunday after a fumble on the team’s opening possession. It was the second week in a row that Robinson rode on the bench for an extended period of time after a fumble.
Robinson missed the next three series after his fumble before the Jaguars put him back in the game, during the final series, 37-7 down. He charged the ball on three of four plays on the final drive for 8 yards.
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However, what makes this move strange is that Robinson is dealing with a heel and knee injury. He suffered the heel injury in Week 8, then missed Week 9 before coming back 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 was left out for most of the game, he was hoping they wouldn’t delay him.
It was confusing for fans of Robinson and Jags.
“I’m not sure what the point was,” Robinson said when discussing the decision in an interview Monday.
Jags RB James Robinson reacts to being benched after a second week in a row with a fumble during his weekly appearance on @ActionSportsJax Jags Report Live. Watch the full video here (https://t.co/zje4Od0Ovy) for more ideas on whether you’re getting the ball enough … #ASJax pic.twitter.com/pGiB6iu6AV
– BrentDanStuartMarcelAlivia (@ActionSportsJax) December 7, 2023
After the game, Robinson spoke about his injury concerns, causing people to question Urban Meyer’s decision to bring him back even more. Meyer also spoke about Robinson’s injury during the postgame press conference Sunday, directing those questions to running backs coach Bernie Parmalee.
“I would have to ask coach Parmalee. I don’t get too involved. I don’t micromanage that,” Meyer said during the press conference. “I know they hit him, so I don’t know if he’s back with the tent or what’s going on, but I know there is an injury involved.”
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James Robinson comes onto the field, my friends … sat for 20 plays after the fumble.
– Brent Martineau (@BrentASJax) December 5, 2023
On Monday, Meyer seemed to agree that it was not smart to put Robinson back in the game. This made people question the operation of the Jaguars and whether it is running smoothly and / or the way Meyer wants it.
“Good question. I know there’s a rotation of running backs. We’re concerned about his load and how many carries, and they track him. Obviously, at that point in the game, they must have wanted to get him some more carries, Bernie did,” Meyer said. “I am. Mindful of that, I’m not in charge of that, but I’ll look at 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 think it’s … no, it’s not. For my part, 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, 2023
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Robinson felt like he had been “benched” during the Rams game Sunday. He admitted that fumbles shouldn’t happen, but felt there was a disconnect between him and the coaches.
Jaguars fans are upset that Jacksonville has been benching the team’s leading running back. Robinson currently has 678 yards rushing in 11 games, while his backup Carlos Hyde is second on the team with 251 yards.