Just before the regular season could get underway, Washington Commanders rookie running back Brian Robinson appeared set to step right into a starting role after a successful Alabama college career. But nobody could have seen what happened next coming for the third-round rookie. Robinson was shot twice in the leg during an attempted carjacking and has since spent the past month-plus recovering from the damage-inflicting wound.
After being placed on the non-football injury list (NFI), Robinson has missed Washington’s first four games of the season. Now the 23-year-old Alabama native is nearing his return to the field and is expected to be activated in the next few days. Unable to suit up for game action, Robinson has been able to ramp up his activity in practices with Washington. If he’s activated off the NFI list, Robinson should be able to play in Week 5 against the Tennessee Titans, who rank in the middle of the pack as far as stopping the run (19th in NFL).
Still building up his strength and stamina, Robinson may not be able to take a full workload in his first game back. Chances are, coach Ron Rivera would rather slowly work Robinson back into action, making sure he’s capable of holding up, before he hands what could be a starting role back to Robinson.
By all appearances, the Commanders can’t wait to get another option in their backfield. Prior to Robinson’s unfortunate incident, coach Rivera had already been growing tired of starting running back Antonio Gibson’s ball security issues, opening up the starting gig to whoever could grab it.
While Gibson has not lost a fumble yet this season, the Commanders are also losing trust in their current starter. He played on just 41% of the team’s offensive snaps in their Week 4 loss to the Dallas Cowboys.
This is particularly noteworthy because Gibson started out with a 64% snap share in Week 1. That amount has dropped every game since.
- 64% snap share in Week 1 – 49 reps
- 54% in Week 2 – 40 reps
- 44% in Week 3 – 34 reps
- 41% in Week 4 – 30 reps
J.D. McKissic has been the main beneficiary, picking up some extra reps, but it’s clear, the starting running back role is available in Washington. Maybe we see Robinson run away with the gig.
This article was originally published on Sportsnaut.com and is republished here with permission.