JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Jaguars running back James Robinson will not be limited against the Washington Commanders on Sunday in his return from a torn left Achilles.
Robinson could even have a heavy workload depending on how he feels and the game develops, Jaguars coach Doug Pederson said.
“I think we’ve got to get into the football game,” Pederson said Wednesday. “I’ve also been in situations like this where you want to come in and you want to control the pace of a game with a guy like James. At the same time, if he’s doing well and there haven’t been any setbacks or anything, then you just go and you just rolls with it.
“… I think he’s back. He’s been practicing these last few weeks. He’s looked really good. I’m excited to see him play.”
Robinson’s return comes less than nine months after he suffered a torn left Achilles tendon in a loss to the New York Jets on Dec. 26. He was limited to individual work for much of training camp but participated in team drills during joint practices with the Atlanta Falcons on August 24-25. He did not play in any preseason games.
“I feel like I’ve been ready since the last two weeks of training camp,” Robinson said. “If I had limitations, I wouldn’t be out there. So like I said, I feel good and I’m going out to be me again.”
Robinson averaged 17 touches per game in his two-year career with the Jaguars, but the plan is for him to share the workload with Travis Etienne Jr.., who worked as the top back during camp and the preseason and whose speed complements Robinson’s more physical running style.
“He’s a little different runner than [Etienne]obviously, and he fits a certain style of running game that we like and [Etienne] fits a different style that we like,” Pederson said of Robinson. “You try to use both of them together and be smart, put them in situations where they can succeed, obviously. That’s up to us as coaches to do that.
“… It opens things up if you run the ball successfully, and it starts there. It’s nice to have two different types of runners because you can do different things during the game. It’s more, also, about what works and what will work when you get into the game and when you make adjustments.”
The Jaguars signed Robinson as an undrafted rookie free agent out of Illinois State in 2020 and were so impressed in training camp that they cut the former first-round draft pick. Leonard Fournette. Robinson rushed for 1,837 yards and 15 touchdowns and caught 80 passes for 566 yards and three touchdowns in two seasons with the Jaguars.
In 2020, Robinson posted the most scrimmage yards (1,414) and the second-most rushing yards (1,070) in the common draft era by an undrafted rookie.