Robinson faces added competition in the Jacksonville backfield with the Jaguars' selection of Travis Etienne in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft, Mia O'Brien of First Coast News reports. "We want to be Top-8 in the league, and with James Robinson, Hyde and Etienne, we think we're there," said coach Urban Meyer on Thursday. Per O'Brien, Meyer views Robinson and Carlos Hyde as the "1-2 punch" in the Jacksonville backfield with Etienne settling in as the third-down back. Meyer's comments aside, a team that takes a running back in the first round is going to find a significant role for that player. Robinson's passing down work is already in jeopardy with Etienne in the fold, and his carries are at major risk as well. It's no secret that Robinson had a great rookie season, averaging 4.5 yards per carry in an anemic offense, but Etienne is a rare talent at the position and his draft capital dictates that he will get the chance to take over the starting role in the not-too-distant future. Even if Robinson stays atop the depth chart to open the season, there's a strong likelihood that Etienne moves from "third-down back" to the top option in the backfield before long.
General manager Trent Baalke said Tuesday that he believes Robinson (ankle) could "even take a step forward from where he was a year ago," John Reid of the Florida Times-Union reports. Baalke spoke of Carlos Hyde, whom the Jaguars recently signed to a two-year deal, in purely complementary terms and as someone who "can compete for roles." It's always possible that Jacksonville adds to the backfield in April's draft, but as things currently stand, Robinson is still locked in as the team's featured back, while Hyde appears set for the backup gig. Hyde's presence could detract from Robinson's overall workload, but if the Jaguars' offense takes a step forward, it's possible the 22-year-old could indeed improve on his 2020 numbers. He rushed for 1,070 yards as an undrafted rookie despite missing the last two games of the season due to an ankle issue.
Head coach Doug Marrone said Wednesday that Robinson (ankle) won't be available for the Jaguars' Week 17 game against the Colts, Michael DiRocco of ESPN.com reports. Though Robinson's ankle injury isn't believed to be a long-term concern, the Jaguars won't take any chances with their top running back with little at stake for the organization in the season finale. As a result, Robinson will finish the season with 1,070 rushing yards, leaving him just shy of the NFL record for an undrafted rookie established by the Colts' Dominic Rhodes in 2001 (1,104). While Robinson was sidelined in the Week 16 loss to the Bears, Dare Ogunbowale stepped in as the Jaguars' primary back, playing 71 percent of the offensive snaps and finishing with 14 carries for 71 yards and three receptions for seven yards on five targets.
Coach Doug Marrone said Robinson (ankle) will have his swelling evaluated Wednesday to determine whether he can practice this week, Michael DiRocco of ESPN.com reports. Robinson hasn't practiced in any capacity since injuring his ankle Week 15, and Marrone hinted that his chances of suiting up Week 17 may be slim unless Wednesday's examination goes well. Dare Ogunbowale would stand to lead Jacksonville's backfield against Indianapolis on Sunday if Robinson can't go, with Devine Ozigbo operating in the No. 2 role.
Robinson (ankle) will not play Sunday against the Bears. This was reported earlier by Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, but it's now been officially confirmed by the team. Devine Ozigbo and Dare Ogunbowale are now set to take on the difficult task of replacing Robinson's production in the starting lineup.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|11||11/21||San Francisco 49ers||7||14.75|
|13||12/05||@Los Angeles Rams||5||14.56|
|16||12/26||@New York Jets||20||18.00|
|17||01/02||@New England Patriots||22||18.88|
Red Zone Trends
|3 Year Avg||240||1070||7||49||344||3||201|