Jaguars LT Cam Robinson set to be suspended: 3 takeaways
The Jacksonville Jaguars have built a stout offensive line over the last two years in order to protect Trevor Lawrence. However, they'll have to do without left tackle Cam Robinson early in the 2023 season, as he'll need to serve a suspension for violating the NFL's performance-enhancing drug policy.
John Shipley of Sports Illustrated first broke the news that Robinson will be suspended although it hasn't been revealed how many games he'll have to miss. The team hasn't made an official announcement yet and it's unknown if Robinson will make an appeal.
A second-round pick in 2017, Robinson go the franchise tag in 2021 and signed a three-year deal worth $54 million last offseason. He was one of the few players former general manager David Caldwell drafted that has signed a long-term deal with the Jags. The Alabama product was somewhat inconsistent early in his career but he's developed into a mainstay of the offensive line and one of their leaders.
The Jaguars will eventually reveal more information about the suspension and potential contingency plan. For the time being, here are three takeaways from Robinson's suspension.
3. The Cam Robinson suspension isn't news for the Jacksonville Jaguars
During the Jaguars' pre-draft conference, general manager Trent Baalke was asked about Cam Robinson's recovery from the meniscus injury he suffered. He said that Robinson would be ready "from a health standpoint".
At the time, this felt like an odd comment but given the news of the suspension, the context is clear. The team's brass knew about the suspension and is surely working behind the scenes to lessen the impact of Robinson's absence. When players are suspended, clubs treat them as if they were hurt. Robinson won't be any different.
2. Walker Little is ready to step up at left tackle for the Jacksonville Jaguars
With Robinson expected to miss several games, the Jaguars will most likely go with Walker Little at left tackle. A second-round pick in 2021, the former Stanford Cardinal has shown starting potential over the last two seasons and should have no problem holding the fort while Robinson is out.
The issue might come if Little thrives. Will the coaching staff go back to Robinson, or will they slide Little to the right side? Something else to consider is who will line up at right tackle. Jacksonville just brought back Josh Well in free agency and he's got starting experience, so he can be plugged into the lineup while Robinson serves his suspension. Having said that...
1. Will the Jaguars' draft strategy change in lieu of Cam Robinson's suspension?
Maybe the Jaguars won't miss a beat without Robinson but it's hard to tell if they'll look for a future replacement. They must've known ahead of time that he was goign to get suspended, so they've had to take his absense into account when putting together their draft board.
Given Little's presence and flexibility to line up on both sides, the Jaguars would be in a position to take an offensive tackle prospect at No. 24 in the draft. If they expect to welcome Robinson back, they will then use the pick on another position. However, if the suspension will hurt Robinson's stand with the team, they could then target an offensive lineman in the first or second round.
As of this writing, the draft is just hours away, so we'll now whether Robinson's suspension will have an effect on the Jacksonville Jaguars' strategy.