Robinson is a healthy scratch as the Jets will instead allow undrafted rookie Zonovan Knight to make his NFL debut this week. Robinson is the only surprise addition to the inactives list, but the Jets do have a few notable names returning.
Wide receiver Corey Davis is set to play his first game since Week 7 after missing three games (four weeks) with a knee injury. His return should help out a Jets' offensive attack that has been lackluster, to say the least, in recent weeks.
The remaining inactives are quarterback Zach Wilson, wide receiver Jeff Smith, tight end Kenny Yeboah, defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins, cornerback Bryce Hall, and safety Tony Adams.
Why the NY Jets made James Robinson inactive this week
The Jets traded a conditional sixth-round pick to the Jacksonville Jaguars for James Robinson prior to the trade deadline with the hope that he could help fill the hole left by Breece Hall's injury.
Robinson has underwhelmed in three games with the Jets, but the decision to leave him inactive isn't entirely performance-based. It likely has more to do with special teams.
The Jets decided to keep Denzel Mims active even with Corey Davis returning to the lineup. That led to the decision to leave Jeff Smith inactive this week. Smith is a special-teams regular meaning the team needed someone to fill his role.
That player is Zonovan Knight.
Knight was a preseason standout who was promoted to the active roster following Hall's injury. Robinson doesn't play special teams. Knight does. That's why Knight gets the nod over Robinson.
It will be interesting to see if this is the strategy moving forward with Davis and Mims both active. The Jets did trade a sixth-round pick for Robinson with the expectation that he'd play more than three games.
None of the other inactives are a surprise for Gang Green. Head coach Robert Saleh told reporters earlier in the week that Zach Wilson would be inactive after being benched in favor of Mike White. Joe Flacco will serve as the backup in Week 12.
Yeboah and Rankins are both out due to injury. Rookie Jeremy Ruckert takes Yeboah's place with practice-squad member Tanzel Smart was elevated again to help fill in for Rankins.
The Jets take on the Bears with kickoff set for 1 pm ET.