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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Jaguars running back James Robinson will not be limited against the Washington Commanders on Sunday as he returns from a torn left Achilles.
Robinson could even get 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 go in and you want to control the tempo of the 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 go you just roll with it.
“… I think he’s back. He’s been practicing the last couple of 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 Dec. 26 loss to the New York Jets. He had been limited to individual work through most of training camp, but participated in team drills during joint practice with the Atlanta Falcons on the 24th-25th. August. He did not play in any preseason games.
“I feel like I’ve been ready since the last few weeks of training camp,” Robinson said. “If I had limitations, I wouldn’t be out there. So like I said, I’m fine and I’m going to go out there to be me again.”
Robinson has averaged 17 touches per game. 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 throughout camp and the preseason and whose quickness complements Robinson’s more physical running style.
“He’s a slightly different runner than [Etienne]sure, 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 them both together and be smart, put them in situations where they can obviously be successful. It is 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 also more about what what works and what’s going to 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 impressed so much in training camp that they cut former first-round draft pick Leonard Fournette. Robinson has rushed for 1,837 yards and 15 touchdowns and has 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 second most rushing yards (1,070) in the joint draft era by an undrafted rookie.