Josh Robinson has missed two preseason games and a bunch of practices while trying to come back from a hamstring injury, but Robinson’s bigger problem right now may be his relationship with head coach Mike Zimmer.
Zimmer on Monday made remarks about Robinson that further strengthen the perception that the head coach is annoyed with the cornerback, who has been listed on the depth chart as a #1 but has done nothing on the field to solidify that position.
Last week Zimmer drew chuckles when quipping about Robinson “You can’t make the team from the tub.” Zimmer raised eyebrows again on Monday by refusing to use Robinson’s name when talking about his practice status, while employing what some saw as telling body language.
“Blanton’s going to go today. And the other guy? Who knows?” Zimmer said, “the other guy” clearly being Robinson. Zimmer said this with a roll of his eyes and a wave of his hand, indicating that he is not exactly pleased with the cornerback.
Since Zimmer was unwilling to elaborate on the specific reasons for his irritation, we can only assume he is not impressed by how Robinson has been attacking his rehab. Zimmer seems to think that Robinson should be back on the practice field by now at least on a limited basis.
Where does this leave Robinson when it comes to securing a roster spot? It’s hard to say. The Vikings may not like the idea of cutting Robinson, a 2012 third-round draft pick who hasn’t lived up to his potential but still brings certain positive attributes to the mix including speed.
The fact is that the Vikings are not exactly blessed with great talent at the cornerback position overall and Robinson’s speed is a factor that at least makes him somewhat stand out from the glut of mediocrity that comprises the rest of the depth chart. Stashing Robinson on IR-to-return might be a better option than simply dumping him.
Whatever happens with Robinson, healing his hamstring may be the easy part of the battle for the cornerback. Healing his trust issues with coach Mike Zimmer could prove a tougher nut to crack.