Mike LaFleur says James Robinson is a big part of their plans

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By: Billy Riccette

As a result of Breece Hall being placed on injured reserve after suffering a torn ACL in Week 7 against the Denver Broncos, the Jets went out and tried to fill the hole in their running back room by acquiring James Robinson from the Jacksonville Jaguars on October 25.

At the time, it was thought that he and Michael Carter would help keep the running game at least stabilized without Hall. However, Robinson has been active for just four games since joining the Jets, including being inactive in each of the last four games and five of the last six.

In the four games he has played, Robinson has amassed just 85 yards on 29 carries. That’s 2.9 yards per carry. He had 340 yards on 81 carries in seven games this season with the Jaguars, a 4.2 yards-per-carry average.

The condition of the trade was that if Robinson finished with 600 yards for the season, the Jets would trade a 5th-round pick to the Jaguars in 2023. If not, it would be a 6th-round pick. So unless Robinson rushes for 155 yards against the Dolphins, the Jaguars are getting the 6th-round pick.

Needless to say, Robinson has not panned out yet for the Jets. Part of that has been the emergence of undrafted rookie Bam Knight, as well as a sprinkle of Ty Johnson to go with Carter. However, offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur still believes in Robinson going forward.

“He’s a big part of our plans, he really is,” LaFleur said Thursday. “Joe D (Douglas) and them brought him in for a reason. I’ve been in situations before where you have a guy coming off an injury that he came off of and when you’re coming off an injury that he came off of in ’21, it takes a lot of time, a lot of rehab, a full offseason of not just rehabbing, but getting back into football shape and being able to work the right way to be able to play at your highest level, so again, he’s a big part of our plans, he’s a heck of a runner, I thought in ’21 before he got injured, those first six, seven, eight weeks, I thought he was one of the best backs in the League, and I’m so thankful that he’s on this roster and I can’t wait to see what he’s going to do moving forward.”

Because Robinson was an undrafted free agent, he signed a three-year contract as a rookie in 2020. That will make him a restricted free agent after this season since he has not been in the league for four seasons. That gives the Jets a chance to match any offer sheets to Robinson if they choose to do so. Johnson is also set to be a free agent. Carter, Hall and Knight will be the top three backs in 2023, so it will be interesting to see what the Jets actually plan to do regarding Robinson.

LaFleur can say he’s excited about having Robinson on the roster, but actions speak louder than words and Robinson hasn’t gotten much action of late with the Jets, so it’s a toss-up at best whether Robinson will truly be in the Jets’ plans in 2023.

Originally posted on Jets Wire

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