The Green Bay Packers have brought back running back James Robinson, according to Packer Central’s Bill Huber. It was not yet specified whether or not Robinson was signed to the active roster or the practice squad.
Robinson has been back-and-forth with the Packers on a few occasions this season. Following a workout in early October, he was signed to the practice squad on October 17th. After a few weeks, he was then released on November 6th, only to rejoin Green Bay’s practice squad last week while the Packers dealt with injuries to Aaron Jones and Emanuel Wilson a short week. Robinson was signed to the 53-man roster prior to the Thanksgiving Day game against Detroit, and was released on Monday of this week.
Robinson did not see any snaps against Detroit on offense or special teams, and was there as the emergency third running back option, while AJ Dillon handled the bulk of the snaps, with Patrick Taylor taking on some pass protection and pass catching responsibilities.
Whether it was Robinson or another running back, this was a position that the Packers were going to have to add to at some point this week. While Jones’ injury isn’t expected to be long-term, his timetable to return is still unknown.
"“I think we’re a long way from that coming to fruition,” Matt LaFleur said on Monday about Jones playing this week against Kansas City."
Dillon would miss Monday’s practice, leaving Green Bay only with Taylor and practice squad player Ellis Merriweather as the only running back options. There doesn’t seem to be concern around Dillon’s availability moving forward, but if he is going to have a lighter week of practice, the Packers need more than just two players go get through the week. Come game day, they’ll again need a third running back option for that just-in-case scenario.
Robinson, who is still just 25 years old, burst on to the NFL scene with Jacksonville in 2020 as an undrafted rookie from Illinois State. Robinson rushed for over 1,000 yards that season and was a big part of the Jaguars passing game as well, totaling 343 receiving yards on 49 receptions, with 10 total touchdowns.
"“I can see why this guy rushed for 1,000 yards as a rookie,” position coach Ben Sirmans said. “You can see he’s got good vision, he’s got good instincts, he’s patient. His ability to find a crease, because he moves just fast enough to let things develop in front of him, and then he can interpret what he sees and, bam, he’s hitting it. I’ve been pretty pleased with him. 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.”"
His second season was off to another promising start, until Robinson suffered an Achilles injury in the second half of the year. Since returning from that injury in 2022, Robinson has struggled to gain traction. He split that season with Jacksonville and the New York Jets after being traded, and averaged only 3.9 yards per carry. He was released by New York in the Spring, and spent some time this summer with the New York Giants before catching on with Green Bay.
The Packers currently have two roster spots open on the 53 man – one of which will presumably go to Darnell Savage once he is activated from IR – and two openings on the practice squad as well. Robinson still has three practice squad elevations remaining, so my guess is that he was signed to there, rather than the active roster.