ENGLEWOOD, Colo. – Most football fans would love to watch an NFL game from the sideline. But Bears receiver Allen Robinson II is tired of that vantage point and eager to get back onto the field.
Robinson has been a spectator since tearing his ACL in last year's season opener when he played for the Jaguars. He missed Jacksonville's final 15 regular-season games and three playoff contests. And while he has since fully recovered from the injury and returned to practice, he sat out the Bears' first two preseason games, including last Thursday night's contest in Cincinnati.
"It's always tough watching, not just Thursday night [but] the past year," Robinson said. "Try watching the AFC Championship. I mean, it's been tough."
The good news for Robinson is that he will finally return to game action Saturday night when the Bears play the Broncos in a preseason contest in Denver.
"I'm excited to get back out there and play," Robinson said. "It's something I'm ready for and excited for. It's been a while. I've put the work in each and every day trying to come out here, get better and perfect my craft. I'm excited. I'm looking forward to it."
Robinson performed well in two joint practices against the Broncos this week. His most impressive catch came Thursday when he leaped high in the end zone to haul in a touchdown pass from quarterback Mitchell Trubisky.
The Bears have been cautious and patient with Robinson as he rebounds from the injury, periodically giving him days off of practice to rest his knee.
"I'm very appreciative of them for that, as far as looking out for me and my best interests," Robinson said. "Each and every day I've been able to come out here and compete at a high level and not have any setbacks or anything like that. I think it's a true testament to them as well as far as looking after me and helping me out."
Robinson signed a three-year contract with the Bears March 14 and is expected to be their No. 1 receiver. The 6-3, 211-pounder from Penn State spent his first four NFL seasons with the Jaguars, catching 202 passes for 2,848 yards and 22 touchdowns in 43 games.
Selected by Jacksonville in the second round of the 2014 draft, Robinson was voted to the Pro Bowl in 2015, recording 80 receptions for 1,400 yards and 14 touchdowns. He followed with 73 catches for 883 yards and six TDs in 2016 before missing most of last season.
The Bears hit the practice field for the second time in Denver on Thursday to work against the Broncos.