The New York Giants’ selection of Wan’Dale Robinson with the 43rd pick in the 2022 draft raised many eyebrows. Robinson was just starting to prove his doubters wrong when an ACL tear ended his rookie season. Since then, his status for Week 1 of this season has been uncertain. Many, including us at Big Blue View, expected him to begin the season on the PUP list.
Robinson’s activation off the PUP list on Tuesday was a pleasant surprise, meaning that the Giants expect him to be ready sometime within the first four weeks of the season. Week 1 will mark nine months since his injury, which is a short period of recovery time for an ACL tear. Still, getting back a receiver who averaged 4.4 receptions and 44.4 yards per game over his final five games—numbers that translate to 75 catches for 755 yards over a 17-game slate—can be only a positive for the Giants.
Robinson said that it’s been a long 8½ months for him, but he’s ready: “Right now, it’s just going to be a little gradual build-up, just kind of got back out there, get my feet back up under me today, and just kind of go with the trainers and the coaching staff and just see where we are at from there.”
On his availability for Week 1
About whether he’ll be ready to go in Week 1, Robinson said, “Whether that’s Week 1 and I feel comfortable out there or Week 2 or Week 3, whenever that may be. I’m hoping for Week 1, but (I) just want to help the team win.”
Still, being activated off the PUP list was a big step forward for him, emphasizing the Giants’ belief that he’s almost there. “I mean, I wanted to go out there and show it even whenever I was just doing my rehab process that I’d be ready within those first four games so that they wouldn’t have to sit me within those,” Robinson explained. “Just wanted to get back out there, just get that chemistry back with (quarterback) Daniel (Jones), and just see what we can do from there.”
Robinson stated that from the moment he first tore his ACL, his focus was on being ready for Week 1. He spoke to Dr. Neal ElAttrache, the noted sports physician and expert in knee injuries, who told him that he had a shot if he put in the work. “Once they told me it was possible, I was just going to do whatever I could to get back out there,” Robinson asserted.
On the rehab process
Robinson was asked how he got to this point in such a short period of time. He credited the Giants’ athletic training staff, explaining some of the procedures they used to help him rehab. “A lot of BFR (blood flow restriction therapy), a lot of long nights, and just making sure that you got to do what you got to do and you got to sacrifice some things,” he commented. “I knew I wanted to be ready for the start of the season and I knew that I would sacrifice some things to hopefully getting back a little earlier than expected.”
Asked if those sacrifices included having a life, Robinson remarked, “Yeah, I’d say for the most part during this offseason I was up here for really just about the whole offseason just trying to rehab and do what I could to get better.”
On practicing with Daniel Jones
On his first day as an active participant in practice, Robinson said that he spent time running routes, working with Daniel Jones, and just getting his feet back under him. Due to NFL rules, he was not allowed to formally run routes and catch from Jones while on the PUP list. Therefore, other than a trip to Charlotte during the offseason to work out together, he and Jones have not had the opportunity to practice together until now.
On the Giants’ revamped receiver room
Asked if it was difficult to see the Giants bring in so many other receiving options, Robinson noted that he knew he was going to be involved in the rotation. “Luckily, I was still able to talk to some of the guys,” he said. “I just knew, at the end of the day, I knew I had a role and just going to play my part and everybody I feel like is going to do what they have to do, and we just want to win.”
Despite the Giants’ additions to the room, the traits that made Joe Schoen select Robinson can still give him a nice role in the Giants’ offense. Having Parris Campbell, Darren Waller, and Sterling Shepard to play the slot means that the team doesn’t feel the need to rush their second-year man back. Still, with Campbell on a one-year deal and Shepard getting up in age and injuries, Robinson has a chance to secure a larger role on the team both for 2023 and beyond.