The Washington Commanders and their fanbase were looking forward to running back Brian Robinson Jr.’s debut season. However, the Commanders rookie was shot multiple times on Aug. 28 in an attempted robbery, according to NBC Sports Washington’s JP Finlay.
This shooting resulted in non-life threatening yet debilitating injuries. Robinson was subsequently placed on the non-football injury (NFI) list, taking him out of the first four games of the 2022 NFL season. The timeline of his return is questionable.
The Commanders selected running back Robinson from the University of Alabama in the third round of the 2022 NFL Draft. During his senior year at Alabama, Robinson rushed 271 times for 1,343 yards and 14 touchdowns. In addition, he caught 35 passes for 296 yards and two scores. Robinson was selected as an All-American for the Reese’s Senior Bowl. His 16 total touchdowns ranked No. 20 in the nation, and his 14 rushing touchdowns were the most by a running back in the Southeastern Conference (SEC). Robinson’s electric senior season granted him an All-SEC first team selection by the SEC coaches.
Robinson Jr. was set to make a significant impact on the team. Many of the practice drills included the rookie, as the Commanders were making the best out of his quick and youthful plays. This was all before Robinson Jr. was a victim of this unfortunate incident.
Following his surgery, Robinson Jr. began his rehabilitation and recovery process. In the last two weeks, reports have noted that Robinson was back on the practice field, working with trainers and riding a stationary bike.
Athlete or not, many have taken notice of Robinson Jr.’s story. Howard University quarterback Quinton Williams put Robinson Jr.’s situation in perspective with the Howard football team. Williams stated, “Putting it into perspective for us, the loss of one of our key [running] backs would not only hurt our game plan, but also put more stress on players to carry more of the load since we are missing someone that we made plays specifically for in certain situations. The game plan is the most questionable part when losing a key contributor to your team.”
To fans, Robinson Jr.’s willingness to push forward despite adversity is a testament to his perseverance and determination. Williams noted the significance of what it means to persevere.
“Teamwork to me is 11 guys on one side of the ball working together to accomplish one goal,” Williams said. “Putting our egos aside and playing for one another. Perseverance is understanding that there will be ebbs and flows throughout a game, but the ability to turn things around or continue with the good shows a team’s true character.”
If Robinson Jr.’s progress continues, the Commanders hope he will be eligible to return for their week five game against the Tennessee Titans.
Copy edited by Chanice McCover-Lee