Washington Commanders running back Brian Robinson Jr. will practice with teammates Wednesday in Ashburn, Va. Photo by Emilee Fails/Washington Commanders
Oct. 5 (UPI) -- Rookie running back Brian Robinson Jr., who was shot twice in August, will return to practice after he spent the first quarter of the season on the non-football injury list, the Washington Commanders announced Wednesday.
Robinson sustained two lower-body gunshot wounds when he was the victim of an attempted robbery Aug. 28 in Washington, D.C. He underwent surgery and was placed on the reserve/non-football injury list, resulting in a four-game absence.
The Commanders will have 21 days to place Robinson on their active roster. If they don't do that, they must put him on injured reserve.
Commanders coach Ron Rivera did not rule out Robinson from playing in Week 5 against the Tennessee Titans when he spoke to reporters Monday. Robinson had been expected to start for the Commanders this season.
"Hopefully it's a nice shot in the arm, and hopefully we get what we're expecting to and that it's another quality running back we're looking for," Rivera said.
"We have to be smart how we handle him and we have to handle those expectations and handle what he's going through physically and mentally. It's a different set of circumstances. I don't know of any other player I've coached that's had to go through this."
The third-round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft was at the Commanders' practices over the last three weeks, but only participated in stretching and worked on the side of the field with trainers. He also did speed, strength and agility exercises, away from his teammates.
Antonio Gibson was the Commanders' starting running back through the first four weeks. Gibson totaled 130 yards from scrimmage in Week 1, but hasn't eclipsed 63 yards from scrimmage in any of his three previous starts.
Gibson's 173 rushing yards lead the team. Backup J.D. McKissic ranks second with 65 rushing yards in four appearances.
Gibson also scored the Commanders' only two rushing touchdowns through the first four games of 2022. The Commanders (1-3) will host the Tennessee Titans (2-2) at 1 p.m. Sunday in Landover, Md.