THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – Just as A'Shawn Robinson was gearing up for a fresh start in Los Angeles, a "respiratory situation" – as he described it – landed him on the Reserve/Non-Football Injury List and delayed his Rams debut several weeks.
On Friday, he was officially elevated to the 53-man roster, and that debut could come as soon as Sunday against the Dolphins in Miami.
"It feels great to be out there with the guys and to be able not to really sit on the sidelines, to really go out there and get some work in with those guys," Robinson said during a video conference after Friday's practice.
Robinson, who was designated to return to practice on Oct. 21, described that delay as "very annoying." However, what kept him going was his Rams teammates and coaches as well as his family.
Attending practice as he worked his way back, Robinson's teammates, defensive coordinator Brandon Staley and defensive line coach Eric Henderson made a concerted effort to keep him involved while he worked his way back.
"Coach Staley every day would tell me, 'one day at a time, get better, chase today, treat it as if you can beat this day," Robinson said. "'Don't think about what is going to be down the road, but just think about now and what you can do to be better.' With Coach Henny (Henderson) and everyone telling me that, it kept me in good spirits, and my family."
Clearly, it was effective, based on what Staley saw out of Robinson in practice.
"I see a focused player. A guy that's trying really hard to get back, quickly," Staley said during a video conference before Wednesday's practice. "I think that his wind, that play shape that you guys often hear about, that's real. When you put pads on, there's a difference between kind of doing workouts in shorts and then getting all your gear on. I think that's a different type of shape and I think that's what we're trying to make sure – that this guy's ready to play."
Before signing a two-year deal with the Rams this spring, Robinson spent his first four NFL seasons with the Detroit Lions, amassing 172 combined tackles, five sacks, 16 pass breakups, three forced fumbles and one interception across 58 career games.
His best year in Detroit was 2018, when he finished with Pro Football Focus' sixth-highest run defense grade of any interior defensive lineman. However, Rams head coach Sean McVay indicated Robinson isn't exclusively a run-stopping defensive lineman.
"He's got versatility across the front, physicality, athleticism," McVay said during a video conference after Friday's practice. "He's a guy that can really play all across the interior of your defensive line. He can play in all personnel groupings, not exclusive to base or some of your sub rush packages. And that was what we liked so much about him."
Robinson's return to live game action may or may not come this week. It's still to be determined if he plays against the Dolphins, according to McVay.
Whether that return happens this weekend or after the bye week, he's just glad to be back.
"Being here is just where I want to be, and I'm excited that I'm here," Robinson said. "I'm glad that I get a chance to be back out there with those guys and give them everything I got to help."
"I'm happy that he's activated now," Rams cornerback Jalen Ramsey said during a video conference Friday. "Hopefully he'll get some playing time in there with us and can make an impact. Obviously everybody knows he has the talent and potential to continue to grow."
The Rams were back on the practice field on Friday in preparation for the Sunday showdown against the Miami Dolphins. Check out the top photos from Friday's practice!