The uncertainty surrounding James Robinson and his playing time on the gridiron continues to be a question asked by Jaguars fans and observers alike. Particularly after the team seemingly benched Robinson during yesterday’s 37-7 loss after the running back coughed up and lost his second fumble of the season.
Robinson didn’t carry the football for 26 snaps following his fumble, leaving backup RB Carlos Hyde in to carry the load. Robinson finished the contest with eight carries for 24 yards. Hyde would out-carry him, rushing nine times for 24 yards.
Following the game, Jaguars head coach Urban Meyer was asked about Robinson’s play, and why he wasn’t on the field during key moments, the second time in two weeks he’s been asked.
Similarly to the team’s game against the Atlanta Falcons, when Robinson would go 18 snaps without touching the football. He, once again, would respond with ambivalence, not quite sure why Robinson was or wasn’t in the game at a given moment, but noted that the RB wasn’t 100% healthy, dealing with knee and heel injuries.
“He’s still not 100 percent. He’s not practicing during the week. James is as good a guy, a tough a guy, team player as you’ve got, that I’ve ever been around,” Meyer said following the game.
“Your heart bleeds for the guy just because he’s not able to do what he does well. He hasn’t been that way since Seattle. He’s not able to practice, but he wants to play, and he’s still a very good player. You’ve just got to take care of the ball.”
While that may be the case, Meyer changed his tune a bit during Monday’s press conference, agreeing with a reporter that perhaps Robinson shouldn’t be in the contest late if he’s injured, while also noting that perhaps he will become more involved in deciding the running back rotation moving forward.
I asked Urban Meyer about that today and his response was: "That's a good question." Meyer said there's a RB rotation and RB coach Bernie Parmalee must have wanted to get Robinson a few more carries at that point. When I said that didn't seem wise Meyer said: "I'd agree." https://t.co/T7gTmEb3GO— Michael DiRocco (@ESPNdirocco) December 6, 2021
Robinson carried the football four times when the contest was completely out of hand, including three times during the team’s last drive, and the final play of the game itself.
When asked about who ultimately decides when Robinson, or any back for that matter, is in the game, Meyer specifically named Bernie Parmalee, the team’s running backs coach, as the man in charge.
When asked where he factored in, as the team’s head coach, Meyer stated that he’s aware of it, and asks the appropriate questions.
“I’m aware of it,” said Meyer. “I’m not in charge of it but I’ll watch and I’ll say, ‘what’s our thoughts here and what’s our thoughts there?’ Obviously, I didn’t do it there with James.”
When asked whether or not he will be more involved with it moving forward, Meyer answered in the affirmative.
“I am because I just gotta make sure to do it the way I want it done.”