The Commanders’ Brian Robinson Jr. reflects on his shot and returns to the NFL a year later: ‘I’m a warrior’

It's been a year since Washington Commanders running back Brian Robinson Jr. went from being a standout rookie in boot camp to asking if he would ever play football again after suffering two gunshot wounds in an attempted robbery in Washington, DC

The Commanders released a story based on interviews between Robinson and their content team, in which the sophomore pro reflected on the August 28, 2022 moment when he thought all was lost.

The play begins with Robinson saying that he was unable to sleep the first night in the hospital as his mind was racing.


Brian Robinson Jr meets coach

Brian Robinson Jr. is greeted by the Commanders coaches. (Washington commanders)

“I couldn't help but be disappointed because I worked so hard to get to this point in my life,” said Robinson. “From playing high school football in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, to waiting my turn to show what I could do in college, to getting the call from Coach Rivera, I've loved it from the first time I got this jersey dreamed of playing in the NFL.” further with my name on it. I realized that if you develop the right habits and, you know, the right work ethic, dreams are real.

“Now that dream was about to come true.”

However, Robinson was aware that football did not employ anyone else. His family, friends, the captains and every NFL fan wanted to make sure he was okay.

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“I knew I was lucky to be alive,” Robinson admitted. “We're talking about shots. People die from gunshots. A shot. Everywhere. It can be in the weirdest part of your body and it can kill you. So to take two I can't imagine I'm not blessed to get out of there.

When doctors told Robinson his gunshot wounds had caused no structural damage, the Alabama product said he was relieved. He knew football was still at stake and went to work.

Robinson said he had to hop up and down stairs with his mother's help during the trial. He had been shot in the knee and hip after wrestling with one of the boys who tried to rob him. This boy was 16 years old, while the one who shot him was 15 years old.

Robinson's mother played a crucial role in his recovery, as the running back admitted he's usually stubborn when it comes to asking for help.

Brian Robinson Jr. is under investigation

Brian Robinson Jr. is examined at the Washington Commanders squad facility. (Washington commanders)

“My mother knew when I could help and when not. I appreciate her for always standing by my side and making sure I did things right,” he said.

But Robinson's support system extended well beyond his mother. Commanders head coach Ron Rivera, then-owner Dan Snyder, and NFL fans of all affiliations were there for him. He eventually made it back to the commander's facility and wanted to get back to work.

“I wanted them to know that I'm still open to what we started working on, what we've built, and I'm still committed to the relationships we've built over the summer I've had the.” Head down, determined to get back on my feet. That's the kind of energy I needed around me. That's the kind of energy I send out. I want people to feel like I'm happy and even excited sometimes not because that's the energy that reflects around you and that was the energy that I needed,” Robinson explained.


Robinson would eventually find his way back to the practice court after grueling physical therapy and recovery. Six weeks after his shot, he was preparing for his first NFL game — something he didn't think he could pull off at one point.

“I had almost everything taken from me before I even started,” said Robinson. “Even if I didn't gain a yard that day, it wasn't about that. It was about my presence, being able to go through what I was going through while still living my dream of playing in the NFL.”

Robinson was allowed to carry the ball for 22 yards nine times, and even though it was only 2.44 yards per carry, he didn't care about performance. Walking the field and playing the Tennessee Titans in that game was win enough.

A few days later, Robinson was named the starting running back against the Chicago Bears on Thursday Night Football. Everyone tuned in to see what Robinson could do and he wasn't disappointed.

Robinson had 60 yards on 17 carries, including his first career touchdown.

Brian Robinson warms up

Washington Commanders running back Brian Robinson Jr. gestures while warming up before an NFL football game against the Tennessee Titans, Sunday, Oct. 9, 2022, in Landover, Maryland. (AP Photo/Jess Rapfogel)

“I knew it was going to be a tough game and at that point I didn't really know if I was ready or not,” said Robinson. “I didn't know if I could make certain plays and cuts or fail certain people because of how I felt at the time. But I wanted to go out there and do my best.”

“I actually went out there and did a lot better than I expected. That was the perfect moment for me to show what I bring to our team.”

Robinson had other moments during his rookie season, including the “big hat after our game against the Falcons.” Smiling from ear to ear and wearing a huge Commanders cap, Robinson sprinted 105 yards in the 19-13 win in his first 100-yard game of his career.

As he's ready to begin his sophomore year in the NFL, Robinson admits “getting back to my old self is still a process.”

“If anyone knows what it's like to get shot in the knee, it's very traumatic,” he said. “I feel a lot better today than a month ago, two months ago and last year. And I keep making progress.”

Brian Robinson watches a pre-season game

Brian Robinson #8 of the Washington Commanders looks on after the preseason game against the Carolina Panthers at FedExField on August 13, 2022 in Landover, Maryland. (Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)

He continued: “I am a warrior. I feel like I can hold my own against anything I compete against. If the fight finds me, I can fight it. That's just my attitude when I'm playing running back in the NFL. I want to.” To be the best, I need to continue to develop the right habits on and off the field, invest my time properly, and stick to my script.


“And whoever is the first defender I see this season, remember: don't run away.”

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