Jaguars Week 1 outing solidified who RB James Robinson is for them

Jacksonville Jaguars running back James Robinson (25) at FedExField. Mandatory Credit: Scott Taetsch-USA TODAY Sports
Jacksonville Jaguars running back James Robinson (25) at FedExField. Mandatory Credit: Scott Taetsch-USA TODAY Sports /

There were many storylines worth following in the Jaguars’ Week 1 matchup against the Washington Commanders. One of the biggest ones was how effective running back James Robinson would be following his recovery from the torn Achilles he suffered against the New York Jets last year.

Robinson had an immediate impact in his return, racking up 11 carries for 66 yards and one rushing touchdown, along with a three-yard receiving touchdown. Head coach Doug Pederson told the media Wednesday that Robinson’s performance against the Commanders went on to show how important he’s for the team.

“It solidified who James Robinson is for us”, Pederson said. “Because I’ve obviously seen him on tape but we didn’t really really see much in preseason other than some practice late, what he was able to do. Kind of exciting moving forward and we knew kind of what TJ is and was because of his ability to play in preseason, so it’s good to have two different runners like that”.

Robinson totaled 1,414 yards from scrimmage in his rookie campaign, the most by an undrafted rookie in NFL history. He followed that up with a productive sophomore campaign despite the fact that Urban Meyer limited his playing time. Nevertheless, the former Illinois State Redbird was one of the most productive running backs in the league in both advance and traditional statistics before tearing his Achilles. Here’s Pederson’s conversation with the media. He starts discussing Robinson around the 11:40 mark.

The Jaguars must make James Robinson an important part of their offense

Robinson’s impact was never in question but it was fair to wonder if he was going to be his former self after sustaining such a serious injury in 2021. He proved he’s still the same player he was and said after the Jags’ loss to the Commanders that being back on the field was huge for him because people didn’t see how much effort he put in his rehabilitation.

Looking back, the Jags might not have wanted to give Robinson a bigger workload in the opener because they wanted to see how he responded in his return. Moving forward, they must feed him the ball, and also get Travis Etienne involved.

The Colts allowed 2.7 yards per rushing attempt in Week 1, so it might be a bit of a challenge to get the running game going. Nevertheless, the Jaguars can’t afford to become one-dimensional and put the onus of winning solely on Trevor Lawrence’s shoulders.

Barring injury, Robinson should once again become a top running back in the NFL. He already showed he’s back but a solid performance against Indy will put any lingering doubts to rest.

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