GREEN BAY, Wis. – With the Green Bay Packers desperately needing some short-notice backfield help after losing Aaron Jones and Emanuel Wilson to injuries on Sunday, the team is re-signing veteran James Robinson, as first reported by Packer Central.
Robinson is back on the practice squad, where he can be elevated for the Thanksgiving game against the Detroit Lions.
Robinson will provide instant depth where the Packers suddenly had none. Late in the first half of Sunday’s victory over the Los Angeles Chargers, Jones was carted to the locker room with a knee injury. Not long after dropping off Jones to get his knee checked, the cart made a U-turn to pick up Wilson, who had sustained a shoulder injury.
That left AJ Dillon as the last man standing at running back – not an ideal situation against the Chargers and untenable situation headed into Thursday’s NFC North rivalry game against the first-place Lions.
Robinson recently spent three weeks on the practice squad but was released two weeks ago as the Packers swapped out the veteran Robinson for the rookie Ellis Merriweather.
Now, Robinson joins Merriweather as the potential backfield sidekicks to Dillon for Thanksgiving in Detroit.
Unlike Merriweather, Robinson has been there and done that. An undrafted free agent in 2020, he earned All-Rookie honors with the Jacksonville Jaguars with 1,070 rushing yards (4.5 average) and 49 receptions for 344 more yards. His 1,414 scrimmage yards were the most ever by an undrafted rookie running back.
Robinson spent 2020, 2021 and the first half of 2022 with the Jaguars. He was traded to the Jets midway through the 2022 season. He has not played in a game this season.
Perhaps Robinson has lost a step following the torn Achilles that ruined his 2021 season. But with 39 games and 32 starts under his belt, he’ll provide an experienced running back to give Dillon a break against the Lions.
With three weeks in Green Bay, he should be able to dive immediately into the game plan for Thursday’s game against the Lions. Given the short turnaround, the team will hold only walk-through practices this week, so an experienced player such as Robinson will be invaluable.
“I totally feel confident that, if he’s got to go in the game, he would give us some production based off of what I’ve seen so far without being live,” running backs coach Ben Sirmans said recently.
Jones feared he had sustained a torn ACL but did not, so his absence will be more short-term in nature rather than season-ending. Wilson suffered his injury while stiff-arming a defender.