Green Bay Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst prides himself on trying to get the most out of every acquisition. He’s always scouring the NFL in search of a player at any stage in their career who can help his team. That’s why we shouldn’t take the James Robinson signing lightly and overlook what it could mean for AJ Dillon.
Throughout his tenure, Gutekunst has plucked a couple of veterans from other teams and rejuvenated their careers in Green Bay. Could Robinson be the next Rasul Douglas for the Packers?
After having Robinson in for a workout two weeks ago, Ian Rapoport reported the Packers are signing him to their practice squad. This officially pushes Patrick Taylor out the door, who was out of practice squad elevations and was signed to the 53-man roster for Monday night’s game against the Las Vegas Raiders before being released.
With the Green Bay Packers signing free agent running back James Robinson to their practice squad, is it the beginning of the end for AJ Dillon?
Could it also sign the beginning of the end for AJ Dillon?
Dillon has had an underperforming career since being selected in the second round of the 2020 NFL Draft and is in the final year of his rookie deal. He’s gotten worse every season from a statistical standpoint and has lacked burst and explosiveness more than ever before this season. He looks a step slow and can’t utilize his power to overcome his deficits.
Of course, he’s not solely blameless for the Packers’ lackluster running game in the absence of Aaron Jones. Green Bay’s offensive line hasn’t exactly given him a ton to work with. However, when the holes are there, Dillon often misses them, running into the backs of his offensive linemen instead.
Robinson has no experience playing on special teams, so the Packers will unlikely ask him to fill that role. Instead, he looks primed to push Dillon for snaps in the offense.
He could expedite the process of the Packers moving on from Dillon. It’s unlikely they’d release him, but they could look to trade him or simply demote him to the third running back job.
Robinson ran for 1070 yards and seven touchdowns as a rookie in 2020 and was a breakout performer for the Jacksonville Jaguars. He tore his Achilles in 2021 and hasn’t quite regained the same explosiveness he had up to that point. However, he’s now two years removed from that injury and is still just 25 years old.
If he remains on the practice squad, he’ll have three elevations to the Packers’ gameday roster before he would have to be signed. That gives the Packers more time to evaluate where Robinson is physically and what they have in him.
It may take a while to come to fruition, but don’t be surprised if this signals the beginning of the end for Dillon.