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Open Locker Room: Robinson honored


JACKSONVILLE – Allen Robinson focused on the positives Wednesday.

And while many Jaguars teammates were disappointed the second-year veteran wide receiver was not officially named to the 2016 Pro Bowl when the NFL announced the selections Tuesday evening, Robinson said there were indeed positives.

He was named a first alternate, which means he has a good chance to go.

And that's not all bad.

"It's an honor to be in that category, to be an alternate, so that's fine with me," Robinson said Wednesday as the Jaguars (5-9) prepared to play the New Orleans Saints (5-9) at the Mercedes-Benz Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana, Sunday at 4:05 p.m.

"A lot of people said I should have gotten in, but sometimes that's just how it plays out."

Added Robinson, "That's how things play out, but that (making the Pro Bowl) wasn't my main focus this year."

Others were less happy with the results.

"There's nothing he can't do right now," Jaguars wide receiver Allen Hurns said. "He has 13 touchdowns and over 1,000 yards. His numbers are better than some of the guys who are going. As a player, you just want the respect you deserve. You work your tail off and make plays.

"I hope he gets in there, because it's what he deserves. He really deserves to be there."

Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles agreed.

"He's way more deserving than to be the first alternate, for sure," Bortles said. "I think he belongs in that list of guys, but credit to him. It's a special honor and privilege. I'm happy for him and it's definitely well-deserved."

The Pro Bowl will be played at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu, Hawaii, on January 31, 2016. No Jaguars players were named to the game.

Robinson, a second-round selection in the 2014 NFL Draft, has 69 receptions for 1,141 yards and 13 touchdowns this season. He is 22nd in the NFL in receptions, but tied with Odell Beckham Jr. of the Giants and Doug Baldwin of Seattle for the NFL lead in touchdowns.

Robinson's 1,141 yards are seventh in the NFL and his 16.5-yards-per-reception average is second among receivers with 1,000 or more yards receiving.

Hall of Fame wide receiver Michael Irvin also expressed surprise Robinson was not selected. The longtime Dallas Cowboys great and current NFL Network Analyst said on Tuesday he was "shocked" that Robinson was not named, saying that Robinson has had "a phenomenal year."

"That's pretty cool," Robinson said of Irvin's reaction.

Robinson will play in the game if any of the eight receivers selected opt not to play. Players often withdraw from the game because of injuries. Because the game is the Sunday before the Super Bowl, players on Super Bowl teams also do not play.

"That's out of my control," Robinson said, adding that it would be "cool" to play in the game. "Any time you can play in a game like that it's a tremendous honor. It's something that's voted on by your peers, so it would definitely be fun."

The eight wide receivers selected to the game were: Calvin Johnson of the Detroit Lions, Larry Fitzgerald of the Arizona Cardinals, Beckham, Antonio Brown of the Pittsburgh Steelers, Brandon Marshall of the New York Jets, DeAndre Hopkins of the Houston Texans, Julio Jones of the Atlanta Falcons and A.J. Green of the Cincinnati Bengals.

"It's pretty cool, anytime you can be in that category," Robinson said. "A good percentage of the list are probably future Hall of Famers, so it's a great honor."

Also around the Jaguars Wednesday, linebacker Telvin Smith said he hopes to play against the Saints on Sunday.

The second-year veteran sustained a sprained AC joint in his right shoulder against the Falcons Sunday, and also played through a dislocated finger that popped in and out of place three times in the game.

"We're going to see how the week goes," Smith said. "I'm going to make sure I do all the things I can do this week to get it right, and we'll see how this week goes."

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