- The Washington Times - Sunday, August 28, 2022

Washington Commanders rookie running back Brian Robinson Jr. was shot twice in an attempted robbery Sunday and sustained non-life-threatening injuries.

Robinson was the victim of an armed robbery attempt or carjacking, the team said. A D.C. Police Department spokesperson said the incident occurred on the 1000 block of H Street NE in the District — which is near the city’s iconic Ben’s Chili Bowl. Robinson suffered two gunshot wounds and was transported to an area hospital, the spokesperson said. 

A firearm was recovered, but District police are still looking for two suspects who fled the scene. The District Police Department tweeted to be on the lookout for “two Black juvenile males with shoulder length dreads, medium complexion, wearing a black or brown shirt with yellow smiley faces on it.”

NBC Sports Washington, citing law enforcement sources, reported that the rookie was shot in an attempted carjacking when the suspects tried to take the 23-year-old’s Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat. Robinson is now reportedly in stable condition. 

“We have been made aware that Brian Robinson, Jr. was the victim of an attempted armed robbery or carjacking in Washington D.C.,” the Commanders said in a statement. “He sustained non-life-threatening injuries and is currently beating treated at the hospital, where Team officials are on-site with him. We ask that you please respect Brian’s privacy at this time.”

Robinson did not play in Saturday’s 17-15 preseason loss to the Baltimore Ravens. He was one of more than 30 players held out as coach Ron Rivera rested most of his starters and key reserves in the team’s preseason finale. Drafted in the third round out of Alabama, Robinson impressed this summer and appeared to seize the starting running back job from Antonio Gibson. 

The NFL Network reported that at least two bullets struck Robinson in the lower body. The shooting occurred shortly before 6 p.m., according to multiple reports.

Robinson rushed for 57 yards on 14 carries in two preseason games. Coaches praised Robinson’s physical rushing attack, noting how he was able to use his 6-foot-2 size to gain yards. After the first preseason game earlier this month, Robinson seemed to vault ahead of Gibson on the depth chart in part because of the rookie’s play and Gibson’s fumbling issues. 

Before joining Washington, Robinson spent five years at Alabama — emerging as the Crimson Tide’s lead back last fall. He set a school rushing record for most yards in a bowl game with 204 in Alabama’s playoff win against Cincinnati. 

According to a team spokesperson, the Commanders’ contingent of officials who visited Robinson and his family in the hospital included owners Dan Snyder and Tanya Snyder, team president Jason Wright, coach Ron Rivera, general manager Martin Mayhew, chief medical officer Dr. Anthony Casolaro and director of wellness and clinical services Dr. Barbara Roberts.

“I just got done visiting (with) Brian,” Rivera tweeted. “He is in good spirits and wanted me to thank everyone for their kind words, prayers & support. He wants his teammates to know he appreciates them all for reaching out and he loves them all & will be back soon doing what he does best.”

• Matthew Paras can be reached at mparas@washingtontimes.com.

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