Commanders RB Brian Robinson Jr. struggled with suspects in shooting


Washington Commanders running back Brian Robinson Jr. “was able to wrestle a firearm away” from one of the two men attempting to rob him Sunday before the other suspect shot him twice, DC police said Monday morning.

The men, who were both armed, approached Robinson after he left a storefront on the 1000 block of H Street NE shortly before 6 pm Robinson was taken to MedStar Washington Hospital Center for treatment of injuries that are not believed to be life-threatening.

Authorities have not identified the suspects, which DC Police Chief Robert J. Contee III said are likely between 15 and 17 years old. Police described the assailants as having shoulder-length dreadlocks with one wearing a black or brown shirt with yellow smiley faces on it. One firearm was recovered about a block south of the shooting, and police obtained the vehicle the two men used to flee the scene, which they believe was stolen in Prince George’s County on Friday.

According to the incident report, Robinson’s keys were stolen and he told police that he was shot in the leg.

Commanders’ Brian Robinson Jr., shot twice in DC, is in stable condition

Robinson published a photo on Instagram on Monday with a message acknowledging surgery “went well” and saying he was appreciative of everyone’s prayers.

The Commanders issued a statement Sunday night confirming that Robinson was stable and that his family and a contingent of team officials had joined him at the hospital. Coach Ron Rivera was among those who visited, along with team owners Daniel and Tanya Snyder, team president Jason Wright, general manager Martin Mayhew, running backs coach Randy Jordan, chief medical officer Anthony Casolaro and director of mental wellness and clinical services Barbara Roberts.

Rivera said Monday that Robinson is “doing well” and “it’ll be a matter of time before he’s back out here.” He declined to give a timeline or any more specifics about the extent of Robinson’s injuries or his recovery from him but noted that both Robinson and his doctors from him were “very positive.”

“I’ve gotten several phone calls as a head coach, unfortunately, but this one was one of the harder ones,” Rivera added. “… He really is more than just a football player. He is really a heck of a young man.”

The coach said he was watching film of Robinson when he got the call about the shooting. He immediately told Jordan, Washington’s running backs coach, and the two drove together to the hospital.

Rivera said that, in talking with others on the Commanders staff, he could “feel the anger swelling up” about Robinson’s situation and about gun violence in the United States.

Before practice Monday morning, Rivera brought his players together for a team meeting to talk about Robinson and the incident. Rivera asked players to “do the best they could” in practice that morning, and he came away pleased by their effort.

“You never want to see something like that happen,” defensive tackle Jonathan Allen said. “By the grace of God, he’s okay. Non life threatening [injuries], and he’s going to be okay. That’s the most important thing right now.”

Sporting a “Wear Orange” T-shirt to support the gun violence prevention movement, Rivera urged more discussion about gun safety and said it can’t be “a partisan issue.”

Brian Robinson Jr. was patient at Alabama. Next up: Commanders’ backfield.

“What we saw in this case and others is just a wanton use of a firearm that hurts somebody,” DC Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D) said Monday.

The Commanders picked Robinson, 23, in the third round of this year’s draft out of Alabama. He has finished his college career with 29 rushing touchdowns (10th in Crimson Tide history) and 2,704 rushing yards (11th). After impressing throughout the offseason with the Commanders, he is expected to play a key role in the team’s offense alongside fellow backs Antonio Gibson and JD McKissic.

The team is expected to get more details on Robinson’s health later Monday, and the coaching staff will decide on how to move forward. There has been discussion of placing Robinson on the non-football injury list.

This story is developing and will be updated.

Lauren Lumpkin contributed to this report.

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