According to Omar Khan and Mike Tomlin, adding a veteran wide receiver was a priority this offseason, and the Steelers did just that with the acquisition of Allen Robinson II. The Steelers’ only concern about adding Robinson was his health.
The 29-year-old is recovering from a pedal foot fracture that surfaced during a practice with the Los Angeles Rams last season. After completing a physical with the Steelers, the team felt comfortable enough to finalize the trade for Robinson.
The good news for the Steelers is that Robinson has dealt with and recovered from this exact injury before, just in his other foot. During his rookie season with the Jacksonville Jaguars, Robinson suffered a fracture in his right foot that resulted in him missing the team’s final six games and required surgery.
“I have some familiarity with it, and I feel very good about where I’m at in the process and everything like that,” said Robinson.
The injury history is not the “good news” for the Steelers but the fact that Robinson has recovered from this type of injury before and knows the process that it takes to be fully healthy is. The other good news is that the injury should not slow Robinson down once he returns.
“I think I’ll be fine,” said Robinson. “I’m still working my way back. They want to be cautious, which I’m all for. But I’m definitely excited and itching to get out there.”
In the year following his first foot injury, Robinson set a career-high in receiving yards that he still has yet to top.
As Robinson mentioned, the Steelers plan to take a “cautious” approach in regard to getting the receiver back up to speed. Robinson’s situation is similar to when the Steelers signed Larry Ogunjobi prior to last season. Ogunjobi only signed with the Steelers after his mega-deal with the Bears fell through due to a failed physical on his foot.
“With respect to the medical, I’ll just say that the doctors felt really good about him,” Khan said. “We’re going to be really smart, kind of like we were with Larry Ogunjobi. We’re going to be conservative with the approach. We understand the importance of spring ball, but there’s really no games being played until August.”
Robinson will most likely not be ready to play at full speed until the preseason comes around but his track record provided the Steelers and himself with the comfort that he will be able to learn while developing a relationship with Kenny Pickett from the sidelines.
“I think the biggest thing that I’ve learned over the past few years in my career, having an opportunity to play with and catch passes from different quarterbacks, is just never undervaluing the fact of communication and different things like that,” said Robinson. “Communication is key. I think that for me being a vet and being able to take some of that from my past and just learning with that, I think that’ll help a lot.”
Whenever Robinson is healthy, look for him to provide the team with instant help. The three-time 1,000-yard receiver still has some gas left in the tank and joined the perfect offense to help use some of that fuel. Robinson will line up at all three of the receiver positions for the Steelers and will be a great compliment and mentor to Diontae Johnson and George Pickens.