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Bleacher Report – Vikings

Josh Robinson’s first action in 11 months had him following a NFL giant

By Andrew Krammer

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — Mike Zimmer didn’t call a timeout when Xavier Rhodes quietly left the field in Sunday’s 20-10 win at Atlanta.

He just ended Josh Robinson’s 11-month absence and placed him across from a NFL giant.

Robinson said his confidence never wavered when he was thrown into the proverbial fire to shadow Falcons receiver Julio Jones for three goal-line plays, when Rhodes briefly left a critical juncture — the Vikings backed up to their own end zone with a 7-3 lead in the middle of the third quarter.

“That’s what we practiced all week, whenever he’s not in there and I’m in there, that’s something we were going to do,” Robinson said. “Just step right in, and do your job.”

Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan never threw, nor did he really look Robinson’s way after Rhodes ended a play on the Vikings’ sideline and quietly walked to the bench calling for a substitute. Rookie Trae Waynes, who is normally the plug-and-play corner, was inactive because of an ankle injury, which meant Robinson would see his first game action in nearly a year.

What was a plodding recovery process furiously pivoted into the height of a NFL cornerback’s livelihood. Robinson, 24, was held out from June to October because of a partially torn pectoral muscle. He wasn’t removed from the Physically Unable to Perform list until November, and nearly another month later he finally got into a game.

And across from the NFL’s leading receiver, Jones, who was limited to a pedestrian five catches for 56 yards on just seven targets — Jones’ second-lowest total of his standout season.

In the moment, Zimmer stayed the course and trusted his plan, with the 5-foot-10-inch Robinson switching sides of the field to follow the 6-foot-3-inch Jones. Should Rhodes have missed more than those three plays, ending in Terence Newman’s end-zone interception, then Zimmer said he would’ve tweaked the blueprint.

“Well, we always have multiple calls if things happen like that to be able to make sure we’re taking care of good players,” Zimmer said. “At that particular time, he went in for Xavier, so he’s doing what Xavier did. If it would have been a longer-term thing, we would have changed some more of the things that we did.”

It didn’t come to that, as Robinson saw just the few snaps on defense. Asked for a review of his own performance, Robinson pointed to a missed tackle on a punt return by Eric Weems, as he took Waynes’ spot as one of the gunners in coverage. He got Weems later in the game on a kickoff return.

“Got to make that tackle the first time on special teams,” Robinson said. “But other than that it was good to be back out there, make a tackle for like the first time in a year.”

In just 16 total snaps, Robinson had a full day in his 2015 debut.

The post Josh Robinson’s first action in 11 months had him following a NFL giant appeared first on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.

Source:: 1500 ESPN Sportswire

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