The Washington Commanders have designated rookie running back Brian Robinson Jr. to return to practice on Wednesday, just 38 days after he was shot multiple times in the leg.
Robinson, a third-round pick out of Alabama in the 2022 NFL draft, was shot on Aug. 28 when he went to Washington D.C.'s H Street corridor to get something to eat. Two bullets hit his right leg and traveled through his knee, but both miraculously missed ligaments, tendons and bones. The 23-year-old was transported to the hospital for treatment and had successful surgery on Aug. 29. He was released the very next day.
The Commanders eventually put him on the non-football injury list, which (like injured reserve) requires a player to miss a minimum of four games before being activated. ESPN reported in early September that Robinson might only miss those four games, and had a realistic chance of returning by Week 5. That seemed wildly optimistic, considering the guy had been shot twice in one of the two legs he needs to be an effective NFL running back.
It didn't take long for Robinson to show that a Week 5 return was actually realistic rather than optimistic. On Sept. 14, just over two weeks after being shot, Robinson was at Commanders practice doing drills.
And now, less than 40 days after being shot, Robinson will be back at practice. The Commanders have 21 days to evaluate and activate him, but they may not need the vast majority of that time. It's possible he could play as early as Sunday against the Tennessee Titans, which would be his NFL debut.