Allen Robinson expected to see playing time Saturday for the Bears as recovery from ACL tear progresses
ENGLEWOOD, CO. – If you’re looking for a definitive time to see the Bears’ first round pick on the field during a game, you’re not going to get a clear answer.
No one on the Bears was disclosing the potential for Roquan Smith to take the field for the team’s third preseason game against the Broncos Saturday. It might seem a bit of a longshot since he just began practice with the team on Tuesday after a long holdout, but the potential for a few plays could be there.
An answer on that will take some time, but one has already come on an intriguing new Bears player recovering from a major injury in 2017.
On Wednesday after the first of two practices with the Broncos in their facility in Englewood, Colorado, Nagy confirmed that wide receiver Allen Robinson will see some plays in Saturday’s game at Sports Authority Field.
It will be the first of any game action for Robinson since he tore the ACL in his left knee during the first drive of the first game of the 2017 season with the Jacksonville Jaguars in Houston.
How much he’ll play is to be determined, but Matt Nagy likes what he’s seen from Robinson as far as his quickness goes in training camp. The key for Saturday, along with the rest of the preseason, is to make sure to work the receiver back as efficiently as possible.
“I think really good,” said Nagy when asked about Robinson’s route quickness. “But I don’t want to over-do that he looks so good that you keep letting him do it and then all the sudden he’s tired, so Andre, our trainer, has done a pretty good job of making sure we monitor that, hence with some of these days off.”
That’s not a bad idea for Robinson, who has a shot to be the Bears’ No. 1 receiver and top deep threat once he’s healthy. In 2015, Robinson broke out with 80 catches for 1,400 yards and 14 touchdowns and kept the momentum with 73 catches, though his receiving yards (883) and touchdowns (6) saw a drop.
Now that he’s returned to health, the key is to get Robinson to work well in his unique style of offense, using his speed along with some physicality to make himself Mitchell Trubisky’s top target in 2018.
“Make contested catches, he’s done that his entire career, now let’s do it in this offense,” said Nagy of Robinson with the Bears. “We’re slowly ramping him up to a position where he feels confident in his own self and with his knee, his mind with what he does on the play, but now making a play with a defender on him and most of the catches in the NFL are contested.
“He’s always been able to do that so let’s put it together in our offense and continue with that trust.”
On Saturday, he’ll take a major step towards reaching all of those goals.