Despite not appearing on the Atlanta Falcons’ injury report, their rookie first-round pick, Bijan Robinson, saw limited action during the first half of Sunday’s 16-13 victory over the Buccaneers. Robinson played just six snaps and did not receive a single touch in the first two quarters. When asked about Robinson’s inactivity at halftime, Falcons head coach Arthur Smith mentioned that the running back was “just not feeling all that great.” Now, the NFL is raising questions about the situation.
According to CBS Sports NFL Lead Insider Jonathan Jones, the league is launching an investigation into why Robinson was not listed on Atlanta’s injury report. Jones highlights that teams are obligated to report all injuries, even those that emerge the night before a game. However, in this particular instance, there appeared to be no doubt that Robinson would play on Sunday. While he did take the field, his playing time was limited. ESPN reports that such violations have resulted in fines in the past.
After the game, Robinson revealed that he had been dealing with headaches and began to feel “weird” on Saturday night. He had difficulty sleeping and woke up on Sunday “feeling completely out of it.” He took medication in an attempt to feel better, but his headache persisted. His performance in the game was limited to just one carry for three yards.
Robinson, who entered the game as the Falcons’ leading rusher and one of their top receivers, did not receive any targets or rushing attempts during the first half of the game, which was tied 10-10 at halftime.
When asked why Robinson received only one carry despite his limited playing time, Coach Smith referred to the specific situation, saying, “He was in a two-minute situation, gave us three yards, and it was situational football. He changes how people want to call it, and that’s why. It’s pretty simple.”
During Robinson’s absence, Tyler Allgeier and Cordarrelle Patterson combined for 13 of Atlanta’s 15 first-half rushing attempts, while Drake London and Jonnu Smith led the team in receptions with three each in the first half.
Robinson’s inability to contribute significantly had a significant impact on the Falcons, who managed to secure a divisional road win despite his limited role. He is not only the most productive offensive player for the Falcons but also ranks among the top 10 running backs in both rushing and receiving in the NFL.