To say Allen Robinson had an uneventful preseason would seem like an understatement.
The Chicago Bears’ big-ticket free agent acquisition didn’t catch any passes, gained zero receiving yards, and received no targets on the stat sheet. Without any additional knowledge of the situation, I’d be worried to pieces about what Robinson was going to have in the tank for Week 1. But because we know how laser-focused the Bears were on ensuring as many healthy bodies as possible would be ready for this Sunday night, there are fewer concerns than you might otherwise imagine.
But still … isn’t there any concern about how Robinson will play in his first extended game action since Week 1 of the 2017 season? If there is, Bears Head Coach Matt Nagy is certainly doing a good job of hiding it: “What I’ve seen in practice, I know he’s going to be able to go out there and play fast,” Nagy said while meeting the media on Wednesday at Halas Hall. “He knows what he’s doing. I have 100 percent trust in him as a player and I know Mitchell (Trubisky) does too.”
Even in a world where actions > words, the coach and quarterback being “all in” and ready to roll with Robinson and WR1 is assuring on some level. Now, they’ll have to do it under the lights in front of a nationally televised prime-time audience. No pressure, gents.[robinson]
No NFC team has practiced as much as the Bears have during the offseason. Their offseason training program began a week earlier than everyone else after hiring a new head coach and their training camp opened up early because of their inclusion in the Pro Football Hall of Fame Game. But we should keep in mind that Robinson didn’t hit the practice field until late May, though Robinson has insisted all along that he is 100 percent healthy and was feeling totally fine at camp. And yet, there is nothing that simulates game action, so there is one more bridge to cross before we are a full-go feeling good about Robinson moving forward.
Robinson and the Bears wouldn’t be in this position had Robinson not treated his rehab process as seriously as he did throughout the offseason. Robinson pushed free agency responsibilities onto his agent in early March to allow him to focus on rehabbing from his season-ending ACL injury, declared he would be fully cleared for training camp after his signing, and was viewed to be ahead of the game with his rehab in May. The Bears refused to rush Robinson’s rehab and Robinson attacked the process with precision. If everything has gone according to plan, the light at the end of the tunnel will reveal a top wide receiver option with loads of potential. And that’s definitely more exciting than what a catch in a preseason game would have brought us.
Soon, we’ll find out if the risk of limiting certain players during the Bears’ preseason will come with the reward of a successful season-opener against the Packers.