Just like no NFL player is the same, every injury is different, and factors such as age and history play a role in how fast the recovery will be. That’s why it’s great to see Jacksonville Jaguars running back James Robinson in an advanced stage of his recovery from the torn Achilles he suffered late in the 2021 season.
A few videos of Robinson doing some light work are making the rounds on social media. He’s not fully healthy yet and won’t be in a while but he’s made meaningful progress and might be back on the football field. The former Illinois State Redbird started running in May and “will be ready to go at some point of training camp“, per Ashlyn Sullivan of the team’s official website. He also told Mia O’Brien of 1010 XL that he will be rehabbing during the summer. Robinson says it feels really good to be back running again and is doing everything he can to get back from injury.
"Just kind of staying focused and not getting too down about it. I know I can come back from it. Just trying to be strong-minded and come back and not rush it. I guess me just being out there and seeing my teammates running around and stuff and knowing I’ll be doing that pretty soon, so kind of being around the whole thing just helps me try to stay in it."
Back in 2020, Robinson amassed 1,414 yards from scrimmage, the most in league history by an undrafted rookie. Last season, he had a limited workload, never toting the rock more than 18 times per game. Yet, he was among the most efficient running backs in the league. Unfortunately, he tore his Achilles in Week 16 and missed the last two games of the season.
The Jaguars could have James Robinson back better than anticipated
It’s hard to make a forecast about the exact time Robinson will be back and even if he’s practicing, it’s unlikely that the coaching staff will give him a heavy workload. They don’t have to, with Travis Etienne showing significant progress from the Lisfranc injury he suffered last preseason. Moreover, rookie Snoop Conner and Ryquell Armstead can spell Etienne if necessary.
On the other hand, the Jaguars should feel good about potentially having Robinson for the start of the 2022 season. He’s been one of the best players over the last two seasons, and if it weren’t for injuries and questionable coaching decisions, his numbers would look significantly better. Last year, he averaged 4.6 yards per carry and he might be even more productive now that the team’s brass has added more weapons to the offense.
Even if Robinson doesn’t get many touches early in the regular season, his presence should get the Jaguars’ running game a boost. Of course, his return is contingent on his recovery but Jacksonville should be pleased with the strides he’s made over the last few months.