JACKSONVILLE – It's great, and it's really tough.
Allen Robinson's emotions are therefore what you would expect from a player watching his teammates do what he long has wanted to do.
"It's frustrating when you can't be on the field, doing what you love to do," Robinson said Monday as the AFC South Champion Jaguars (12-6) prepared to play the AFC East Champion New England Patriots (14-3) in the AFC Championship Game at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts, Sunday at 3:05 p.m.
Robinson, a Pro Bowl selection after the 2015 season and the Jaguars' top receiver over the past three seasons, on Monday spoke to reporters in the Jaguars' locker room for the first time since a torn anterior cruciate ligament ended his season on the first offensive series of the season.
Robinson on Monday was asked his toughest moment since the injury.
He said that was easy:
The Jaguars' 10-3 victory in an AFC Wild Card playoff game over Buffalo on January 7, a game played in front of a third consecutive sell-out crowd at EverBank Field.
"Seeing the environment in the Wild Card game, and hearing EverBank … that's something the past four years we've really wanted to have," Robinson said. "We've played for that moment. We've played to step in here and have EverBank sold out."
The Jaguars followed that moment with a 45-42 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers this past Sunday to advance to Sunday's championship game. Robinson, as he did for the last two regular-season games, traveled to Pittsburgh and was with the team when 10,000 fans welcomed players and coaches back to EverBank Field Sunday night.
"We've worked for that, so for me to not to be able to be physically out there is frustrating sometimes," Robinson said. "It is what it is. Things happen. I'm still a part of things and trying to help out any way I can."
Robinson said Jaguars Head Coach Doug Marrone made clear immediately following his injury he wanted him around the team, and he said traveling with the team in recent weeks "makes everything a lot easier."
"My routine is not too different," Robinson said. "I may not be out there at practice, but I'm still popping into meetings. I'm still coming in here (the locker room) and talking to my teammates, so it definitely makes it a lot easier."
Robinson said he appreciated his teammates and Marrone "going out of their way to make me a part of this thing."
"They didn't really have to do that," Robinson said. "They have enough going on. Everybody's kept me in the loop and made me feel a part of this. We set our goals on the type of team we wanted to be and the things we wanted to accomplish. Every person in this locker room put in a lot of work to get to this point, with me being one of them."
Robinson at four months removed from the injury said he is back to jogging and is now able to put 100 percent of his weight on his knee.
"It's coming along smoothly," Robinson said of his rehabilitation. "It's patience with everything. I wish I could just wake up tomorrow and feel like I did September 9, but I understand it's going to be a process to get back to that standpoint. I know I'll be back to that point and better; that's something that I definitely know.
"It's just a process, but I'm on my way. I'm probably about halfway there, so I've got to continue to get better."
Robinson, whose contract expires at the end of the league year in March, said he wants to return to the Jaguars. He said he hasn't thought in much detail about his contract yet, and plans to let his agent "narrow down scenarios" while he focuses on rehabilitation.
"I don't really concern myself too much with that," Robinson said, adding of the Jaguars: "This is where I've been the last four years and this is something that we've all put in and tried to build. It isn't something that we just came into and it happened. It was something that was a constant build and we're continuing to build. I stepped in Day One and it's a lot different than it is now.
"I know if I'm back here next year they know what I bring to the table. I'm going to work as hard as I've ever worked to be able to make those plays that I made before – and more plays."