Jacksonville Jaguars Head Coach Doug Marrone was “holding out hope” for rookie running back James Robinson, but as the week has progressed, Marrone has begun to accept the Jags rushing leader won’t finish out the season on the field with the club.
“It doesn't look like he's going to be up for our game. I think that's safe to say that he'll be out,” Marrone told reporters Wednesday morning.
Of course there is a chance Robinson’s status could change before this weekend. But after he missed last week’s loss to the Chicago Bears with a swollen ankle, Marrone said they would reevaluate his status on Wednesday. Now at Wednesday, Marrone doesn’t see the undrafted free agent being able to close out what has been a stellar rookie season.
“I can't, I could never, ever say enough about that guy. I mean I really can't, I mean about how hard he tries. He wants to come back, he wants to play.”
Robinson is 35 yards shy of breaking Dominic Rhodes' record for most yards by an undrafted free agent rookie. Rhodes record sits at 1,104 rushing yards. Robinson currently has rushed for 1,070 yards (third in the NFL) along with seven touchdowns on the ground.
“If anyone deserves to get that [he does],” stated Marrone.
Robinson boasts 1,414 yards and 10 total touchdowns from scrimmage this season. The Illinois State alum is only the third undrafted rookie with 10 touchdowns in the common draft era, joining Phillip Lindsay (2018) and Dominic Rhodes (2001).
According to Marrone, rookie receiver Collin Johnson will also be out and DJ Chark is questionable. An official practice injury report will be released later in the day.
It will be a premature end to what has been a storybook season for the kid who beat out former first rounder Leonard Fournette to top the Jaguars depth chart this offseason. Each and every week, Robinson has performed despite an at times stagnant offense. He’s averaged 94.3 yards per game and when he passed the century mark, Marrone was so proud, he felt compelled to spend the postgame highlighting Robinson’s accomplishment.
“It’s a credit to him. You know, he’s been outstanding, he really has,” Marrone said at the time.
“It’s something that, in a season like we’re having where everybody is struggling, to have something like that happen is good. Normally, I don’t ever really talk about individual accomplishments after the game, but I did because we don’t really have a lot going for us, obviously, right now.
“But it’s something that could be celebrated by all of us, the offensive line, receivers, the tight ends, and I said even the defensive guys and specialists. I mean, it’s something of here’s a guy that represents so much of what’s good about competition, about playing, about humility, about keeping things in perspective. He’s been a great example, even though he’s a rookie free agent, he’s been a great example for everybody. So, I said that to the team after the game and they clapped for him, when there’s not a lot to clap about really.”
The Jaguars will travel to Indianapolis for a regular season finale with the Colts on Sunday. Kickoff is at 4:25 pm Eastern on CBS.