No. 2 Jacksonville Jaguars player with a new team: James Robinson, RB (Packers)
Running back James Robinson just recently signed to the Green Bay Packers practice squad. While he may not see the field often, this is noteworthy news because the former Illinois State Redbird was seen as a rising star just a few years ago.
An undrafted free agent in 2020, Robinson was one of the few bright spots for a Jaguars team that went 1-15 that year. Jacksonville named him the starter before the regular season and promptly released veteran Leonard Fournette. The decision may have seemed odd at first but Robinson quickly went on to have an impact and finished his first NFL campaign with 1,414 yards, the most by an undrafted rookie in league history.
Robinson was expected to pick up where he left off in 2021 but Urban Meyer had other plans. Although Robinson started the season as the starter, he was eventually benched in favor of veteran Carlos Hyde. Meyer denied the benching and instead pointed fingers at running backs coach Bernie Parmalee.
In the end, Robinson was installed back in the lineup when Trevor Lawrence went to Meyer and asked him why Robinson wasn't playing. Not long after being reinstated, the Illinois native suffered an Achilles tear that ended his 2021 season short. He spent the offseason working on his recovery to be in time for the 2022 opener. However, he was eventually phased out in favor of Travis Etienne and later traded to the New York Jets, when he became a healthy scratch toward the end of the year.
Robinson then signed with the New England Patriots in free agency but was released just a few months later. He spent the preseason with the New York Giants and later landed in the Packers' practice squad. He was released in early November and just re-signed on the 20th.
The reason behind Robinson's struggles to permanently latch onto a team is that he's not the same player he was before the injury. Once the Patriots realized it, they moved on, and that stings, given that it seemed like he was on his way to NFL stardom as recently as 2020.