Bears WR Allen Robinson won’t ‘lose sleep over’ Pro Bowl omission
Robinson has had a great season regardless of whether it landed him in the Pro Bowl, but celebrating individual success has been awkward on a stumbling Bears team.
Wide receiver Allen Robinson was a long shot to make the Pro Bowl, in large part because it’s hard to put up gaudy numbers when the Bears rank 28th in total offense, so he brushed it off when the voting didn’t go his way.
Not only was Robinson left out, he wasn’t even chosen as an alternate. His 83 catches, 1,023 yards and seven touchdowns — the best receiving season by a Bear in five years — couldn’t compete with a loaded NFC class of receivers.
Robinson, though, remained upbeat. He believes he has put up a Pro Bowl-caliber season regardless of whether he got picked.
“Oh, yeah, definitely, I thought I did,” he said. “I thought I made plays when my number was called. I know I didn’t make every play, but I thought I made plays. That’s not something I’m going to lose sleep over or anything.”
It would’ve been a nice reward, nonetheless, for a player who has done everything right in a season gone sideways for the Bears. Robinson has been by far the best, most consistent offensive player on the team and arguably the most proficient at his job of anyone on the team.
He produced despite quarterback Mitch Trubisky ranking 26th in passer rating, the team having no semblance of a running game and no other receiver emerging as a legitimate running mate until Anthony Miller’s recent breakthrough. Before Miller’s big day on Thanksgiving, Robinson was the only Bear to go for 80 or more receiving yards in a game.
The Pro Bowl also would’ve been a coronation after Robinson’s return from a torn anterior cruciate ligament. He suffered the injury in 2017 with the Jaguars and still wasn’t himself last season, though he managed a respectable 754 yards and four touchdowns on 55 receptions.
Coming into this season, he felt fully healthy again and said recently, “How I’m moving and how I’m playing, I feel 100 times better than I did last year.”
Unfortunately for Robinson, the Pro Bowl voting tends to favor household names and big numbers. While his yardage is impressive within the context of the Bears’ struggles, it’s 10th in the NFC and 13th overall. He has a little more than a quarter of the Bears’ catches, but his total is fourth among wide receivers in his conference.
Robinson can’t be labeled a snub considering who made the team.
The Saints’ Michael Thomas leads the NFL in receiving yards at 1,552 and eclipsed 100 catches weeks ago. The Buccaneers’ Chris Godwin and Mike Evans each have more yards and touchdowns than Robinson. And Falcons star Julio Jones has comparable numbers to Robinson, but is one of the league’s biggest names and will go for the seventh time in his career.
The individual success for Robinson, who hit the 1,000-yard mark in the loss to Green Bay on Sunday, has been bittersweet amid the Bears’ sputtering. While he’s proud of what he has done, especially coming off the injury, it has been hard to celebrate.
“I’m just trying to make plays for the team,” he said. “That’s what it comes down to, just trying to do what I can do to make that translate to wins. Sometimes it did this year; sometimes it didn’t. But for my own personal assessment, my [goal] is to get W’s.”
Robinson played in the Pro Bowl as an alternate after a 2015 season in which he went for 1,400 yards and 14 touchdowns on 80 catches with Blake Bortles throwing to him. The Jaguars went 5-11 that season.
The Bears had three players selected and three tabbed as alternates. Outside linebacker Khalil Mack, safety Eddie Jackson and special-teams standout Cordarrelle Patterson are on the NFC roster, while cornerback Kyle Fuller, defensive tackle Eddie Goldman and running back Tarik Cohen (as a punt returner) are on standby.