JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The hospital bands that Allen Robinson has on both wrists -- green on his right and orange on his left -- are tattered and worn, but he’s not taking them off.
Not until he’s fully cleared to return from his torn left ACL. Then, and only then, will the Jacksonville Jaguars receiver get out the scissors to cut off the reminders of his September surgery.
“Each and every day, if you can have the small things that kind of push you and get you going, it makes things a lot easier,” Robinson said.
He hopes he’s still wearing a Jaguars jersey when he finally does cut the wristbands.
Robinson’s rookie contract expires in March and he’s eagerly awaiting an offer from the Jaguars. He knows, however, that he has little leverage since he missed the 2017 season. He may get a one-year, prove-it offer or the team could offer him a two- or three-year contract.
The Jaguars also could use the franchise tag on him, which would pay him approximately $16 million in 2018.
Robinson says he’s not wasting time thinking about any of that, though. He’s concentrating on building off the team’s surprising success in 2017, which ended with a 24-20 loss to New England in the AFC Championship Game.
“Being a part of this thing for four years now and being a part of this thing since the day we stepped foot back here early in the spring, we kind of set our goals on the kind of team we wanted to be and the things that we wanted to accomplish,” Robinson said. “Every person in this locker room put in a lot of work to get to this point, with me being one of them.
“This is where I’ve been the last four years and this is something that we’ve all really put in and tried to build. It wasn’t something that we just came into and it happened. We went from 3-13, to 5-11, 3-13 to now. It was something that was definitely a constant build and we’re continuing to build it.”
Robinson said he was grateful to coach Doug Marrone and his teammates to make sure he felt part of the franchise’s first division title since 1999 and first playoff appearance since 2007. Robinson suffered his injury on the third offensive snap of the season, underwent surgery a couple of weeks later and then began rehab.
He hasn’t been at practices but he has been participating in some meetings. He also went on the team’s final four road trips: San Francisco, Tennessee, Pittsburgh and New England. As grateful as he is, Robinson admitted it has been tough not being able to play.
“Definitely a special shout-out to my teammates as far as helping me -- even going out of their way to help me feel a part of this thing and they don’t really have to do that,” Robinson said. “I know they have enough going on themselves, and then with Coach Marrone, everybody kind of keeping me in the loop and making me feel a part of this thing, which I definitely know I am. But it’s just frustrating at times when you can’t be out there on the field, doing what you love to do and being out there with the teammates that you love playing with.”
The Jaguars’ offense certainly would have been more explosive with Robinson on the field. He has averaged 14.1 yards per catch on 202 receptions and has 22 touchdown catches in three seasons, and he had a monster year in 2015 (80 catches for 1,400 yards and a franchise single-season record 14 touchdown catches).
His yardage and touchdown numbers dropped off in 2016 -- 73 catches for 883 yards and six TDs -- but he had a fantastic training camp and appeared poised for a big season before his injury. Now that he’s coming off the ACL injury, there’s a level of uncertainty of just what kind of impact he can have in 2018, which is why he’s not sure what to expect from the Jaguars in terms of a contract offer.
“I don’t really know what is going to happen. I know there’s a lot of different scenarios,” Robinson said. “Right now, my main focus is to kind of let my agent narrow down the scenarios and for me to get back at 100 percent. That’s the main focus right now for me. Again, I know I’ll be back at 100 percent and relatively soon. At the end of the day, I know all that is going to play out.
"I know the player that I am. I know the plays that I made. I know the plays I’m going to continue to make. From that standpoint, it doesn’t really bother me or I don’t really concern myself too much with that [the contract situation].”