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Doug Pederson on James Robinson: It’s the expectation to have him for Week One

Mike Florio and Chris Simms make the case for why standout young players should be eligible to get new contracts after their second year in the NFL instead of after their third.

Despite tearing his Achilles last December, Jaguars running back James Robinson did not start training camp on the physically unable to perform list.

But that doesn’t mean he’ll be ready to go when the Jaguars take on the Commanders to open the regular season.

Robinson has been practicing, but he’s not yet full go. On Thursday, head coach Doug Pederson said the running back is at a place where he’s “almost there,” but still needs a few more days.

“It’s exciting for us as a staff, because other than him running on the side, we haven’t really seen him play football — other than watching tape [from] last year,” Pederson said in his press conference. “So we’re excited to get him back out there. Our defense, though, didn’t really realize he had that orange jersey on and they’re supposed to not hit him, you know? But it was good to see him make some of those moves and cuts. Again, trying to progress him slowly into work.”

Robinson won’t play in Jacksonville’s preseason matchup with Pittsburgh this week. But the club will continue to gradually ramp up Robinson’s workload to get him ready for Week One.

“It’s the expectation, it’s kind of the hope that he can be there at that point,” Pederson said. “And, listen, if not, it’s OK. We’re comfortable with the guys behind him and we’ll go with what we have.”

Notably, the Jaguars also have Travis Etienne Jr. returning from an injury that had him miss the entire 2021 season, but Etienne has been full go throughout the preseason.