If you’re a fantasy football manager who began the year with Allen Robinson on your roster, you probably felt pretty good about his odds of having a big season. If you’re a fan of the Chicago Bears, you probably did too. Robinson, after all, was teaming with the most talented quarterback he’s ever played with, be it Andy Dalton or Justin Fields, and with unrestricted free agency coming in 2022, the motivation to dominate opposing defenses couldn’t possibly be higher.
Any optimism or confidence about Robinson having a career year has devolved into anxiety and doubt that he’ll ever return to the form he displayed last season when he had a career-high 102 catches for 1,250 yards and six touchdowns. He’s on pace this season to finish with less than half of that production.
“If somebody had told me this is where [my production] would be at, I would have bet heavily against that,” Robinson said Wednesday from Halas Hall. “It’s been tough. [I’m] just trying to account for everything, trying to figure out what there is that can be done differently on my end.”
Robinson’s lost ground to second-year wideout Darnell Mooney in the passing game’s pecking order, and with each game that goes by without Robinson making a play, the likelihood he signs a second long-term deal in Chicago shrinks. And maybe that’s OK. Robinson did a fine job for the Bears over the last three seasons, but as this roster turns over to younger players who will mature along the same timeline as Justin Fields, it may be best for Robinson to seek greener pastures elsewhere.
“There’s only one person who can get the ball per play,” Robinson said of his lack of targets. “I don’t ever really think [I’m being ignored].”
At least he has a good attitude, right? Most wide receivers with Robinson’s resume probably wouldn’t be as professional as he’s been this season, which is a big reason why he’s such a respected player on the team. Matt Nagy has consistently praised Robinson’s professionalism over the last few seasons and it’s holding true this year despite what’s been the most difficult stretch of games in Robinson’s career.
Maybe Robinson has a breakout game against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Monday night, but I wouldn’t bet on it. This offense has made a clear and obvious shift away from him through the first eight games, something that won’t be the case in 2022 when he dons a different uniform.