Bears WR Allen Robinson eyes matchup with brash, elite Rams CB Jalen Ramsey

Ramsey is one of the most bombastic (and talented) cornerbacks in the NFL, and he’s likely to spend all game Sunday night shadowing Robinson.

SHARE Bears WR Allen Robinson eyes matchup with brash, elite Rams CB Jalen Ramsey
Jalen Ramsey and Allen Robinson were teammates in Jacksonville in 2016 and ‘17.

Jalen Ramsey and Allen Robinson were teammates in Jacksonville in 2016 and ‘17.

Leila Coker/AP

From the moment he stepped on the practice field as the Jaguars’ prized first-round cornerback in 2016, Jalen Ramsey went at Pro Bowl receiver Allen Robinson.

The fire-spitting rookie had no hesitation about harassing Robinson in their many one-on-one reps, and that continued for two seasons before Robinson left the Jaguars to sign with the Bears in free agency. Ramsey stayed with them for one more full season and part of this one before forcing a trade last month to the Rams.

The former teammates figure to spend most of Sunday night tussling at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. The Bears assume Ramsey will cover Robinson exclusively.

‘‘It’s gonna be physical, it’s gonna be competitive, it’s gonna be fun,’’ Robinson said. ‘‘I’m definitely looking forward to it. . . . I talk, he talks, so it’ll be fun.’’

While both players are loquacious, Ramsey is more sinister.

Saying an opposing player ‘‘sucks’’ (Joe Flacco), is ‘‘trash’’ (Josh Allen) or is ‘‘Charmin soft’’ (A.J. Green) is his baseline, and he gets nastier from there. He dismissed Chiefs 1,000-yard receiver Tyreek Hill as a return specialist and called former Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski overrated.

He said quarterback Blake Bortles — a teammate at the time — was too fragile to handle practicing against the first-string defense and last summer labeled Rams quarterback Jared Goff ‘‘average to above-average.’’ Given what else he has said, Goff thought that dig ‘‘wasn’t half-bad.’’

Ramsey hasn’t spoken with the media this week, but he surely is loaded with thoughts about Robinson and quarterback Mitch Trubisky. And given how familiar he is with Robinson, he’ll have plenty to say during the game.

‘‘I mean, I know him, too,’’ Robinson said with a grin.

Unsurprisingly, they haven’t kept in touch.

Even Bears coach Matt Nagy seems eager to watch his receivers spar with Ramsey, provided it doesn’t go too far. Three weeks into his rookie season, Ramsey shut down the Ravens’ Steve Smith and spouted, ‘‘Y’all tell me who got in who head.’’ That’s certainly a big part of his approach.

‘‘There’s a psychology there,’’ Nagy said. ‘‘There’s a little bit of stuff that goes on to get in your head so you don’t play your game, so we’ve got to make sure that we don’t get into that.’’

Robinson should be the least of Nagy’s concerns in that department. He has been the most dependable player on the Bears’ offense all season.

With 618 yards and three touchdowns on 53 catches, Robinson is nearing his totals from 2018. That production is particularly impressive, given that Trubisky and backup quarterback Chase Daniel have a combined 87.3 passer rating.

Nearly 27 percent of the Bears’ passes go to Robinson, and no one else on the team has reached 300 yards receiving. None of the other wide receivers has half his receptions.

Ramsey, a Pro Bowl pick the last two seasons, will make it much more difficult for Trubisky to force Robinson the ball. He hasn’t been a huge factor in his first three games with the Rams and doesn’t have an interception this season, but he’ll be problematic.

‘‘We expect him to match A-Rob,’’ Trubisky said of Ramsey. ‘‘Obviously, he’s in a new scheme, so I think he’s still getting used to that. But most of the time he’s matching, and he’s just gonna cover his guy and try and shut that down.’’

Robinson didn’t share much about his history with Ramsey, other than saying he ‘‘definitely enjoyed’’ facing him in practice. He also wouldn’t mind being miked up for the broadcast.

And while he’s ultra-confident, Robinson is a realist. Ramsey is what he says he is: elite. He’s a bigger corner at 6-1 and 208 pounds, and his best attribute is the pounding he delivers throughout the game.

‘‘At some of the catch points, he tries to be a little more physical,’’ Robinson said. ‘‘If you catch the ball on the sideline, you know he’s gonna be physical. There’s a lot you can expect in this game.’’

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