Jaguars wideout Allen Robinson suffered a “significant” knee injury during today’s game against the Texans, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (Twitter link), and Jacksonville fears Robinson has a torn ACL, tweets Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk. The Jaguars have now officially confirmed that Robinson has an ACL injury to his left knee, and head coach Doug Marrone will provide a further update on Monday.
While details are slim as of yet, Robinson went down early with a non-contact injury, struggled to make it to the sideline, and was quickly ruled out for the remainder of today’s contest. While further test results will surely leak out, an ACL injury appeared to be the most obvious diagnosis.
Jacksonville already lost one wideout prior to the season, as the club placed rookie pass-catcher Dede Westbrook on injured reserve with a “core” injury. But the absence of Robinson — clearly Jacksonville’s most talented wide receiver — would represent a much more serious loss. Even in a down 2016, Robinson posted 73 receptions and six scores, while he managed 80 catches, 1,400 yards, and a league-leading 14 touchdown receptions the year prior.
Without Robinson, the Jaguars would turn to Marqise Lee and Allen Hurns as their top two wide receivers, with Arrelious Benn and Keelan Cole available behind that duo. Amba Etta-Tawo, currently on Jacksonville’s practice squad, could be promoted, while the Jags could also consider a free agent. Players such as Victor Cruz (whom the Jaguars hosted earlier this year), Vincent Jackson, Stevie Johnson, and Marquess Wilson are among the options available on the open market.
Alternatively, Jacksonville could lean even more heavily on the running game, something they did in today’s victory over the Texans. Rookie running back Leonard Fournette handled 26 carries on Sunday, while backup Chris Ivory rushed nine times. Quarterback Blake Bortles attempted only 21 passes, but the Jaguars had the benefit of leading early versus Houston.
Robinson’s injury could also have an unfortunate impact on any potential extension negotiations. The 24-year-old Robinson is scheduled to become a free agent next spring, and while he’s discussed a long-term deal with the Jaguars, nothing has been signed. If he’s out for the rest of the year, Robinson will hit the open market with an uncertain medical history, possibly forcing him into accepting a short-term pact.
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