Jaguars running back James Robinson played a season-low 44% of the snaps in Sunday’s 37-7 loss to the Rams, leading many to believe he was benched.
After a first-quarter fumble, Robinson didn’t see the field again until the third quarter. He finished with just eight carries for 24 yards, with three coming in the last two minutes of the game. Head coach Urban Meyer denied after the game that Robinson was benched and said he was injured. Asked after the game by ESPN’s Michael DiRocco whether Robinson would have remained in the game if he didn’t fumble, Meyer gave a two-word response.
"Oh, sure," Meyer said.
INGLEWOOD, CALIFORNIA - DECEMBER 05: Trevor Lawrence #16 of the Jacksonville Jaguars hands the ball off to James Robinson #25 of the Jacksonville Jaguars during the first quarter against the Los Angeles Rams at SoFi Stadium on December 05, 2021 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)
In a Monday appearance on Jags Report Live, Robinson refuted Meyer’s claim.
"When [a fumble] happens and you’re out for that long, you’ve gotta feel that way," Robinson said. "I was just waiting my turn to get back in the game and it didn’t really come until the third quarter."
When asked on Monday why Robinson saw three carries in the fourth quarter if he was injured, Meyer gave an odd answer.
"That’s a good question," Meyer said.
JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA - NOVEMBER 28: James Robinson #25 of the Jacksonville Jaguars attempts to run past Jaylinn Hawkins #32 of the Atlanta Falcons during the game at TIAA Bank Field on November 28, 2021 in Jacksonville, Florida. (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
Robinson himself couldn’t answer that question and said his fourth-quarter appearance left him confused.
"I knew the game was over by that point," Robinson said. "I probably should’ve been resting. I’m not sure what the point of that was."
With the loss, Jacksonville fell to 2-10 in Meyer’s first season as a head coach in the NFL. Robinson, meanwhile, is 13th in rushing yards this season with 678 after finishing fifth in 2020 with 1,070.
JACKSONVILLE, FL - NOVEMBER 28: Runningback James Robinson #25 of the Jacksonville Jaguars on a running play during the game against the Atlanta Falcons at TIAA Bank Field on November 28, 2021 in Jacksonville, Florida. The Falcons defeated the Jaguars 21 to 14. (Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images)
Robinson is actually averaging more yards per carry, 4.9 compared to 4.5, but has seen a noticeable dip in touches. Robinson has yet to see 20 carries in any game this season. In 2020, he had four games of 20 or more carries. He’s also had three games with eight carries or less after having zero last season.