Rivera: Robinson Jr. is 'in a really good place' after shooting originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington
Ron Rivera explained that he was watching tape of Brian Robinson Jr. when he got the phone call informing him that Brian Robinson Jr. had been shot on Sunday evening. Robinson Jr. was the victim of an attempted robbery in Northeast D.C.
In a press conference Monday devoted solely to questions about the health of and outlook for Washington's rookie running back, Rivera told reporters that Robinson Jr. is, fortunately, "doing well."
"We had an opportunity to visit with him last night, which was really a relief and kind of cool, because he was in a really good place," Rivera said. "The doctors were very positive with him and he was positive as well."
A contingent of Rivera, Washington owners Dan and Tanya Snyder, president Jason Wright, running backs coach Randy Jordan, multiple team doctors and a few players ended up going to see Robinson Jr. in the hospital following the shooting. According to Rivera, Robinson Jr.'s aunt and uncle were there with him, too.
When he first received the news about Robinson Jr., Rivera felt "blindsided."
"It was hard," he said. "I've gotten several phone calls as a head coach, unfortunately, but this one was one of the harder ones because he's a heck of a young man. He really is."
Upon seeing Robinson Jr. in person, the 2022 third-round choice apparently requested that Rivera provide a public update on his status in order to "let everybody know that he was doing OK." So, Rivera tweeted out a message doing just that.
Once Rivera was initially informed about the incident — just before 6 p.m., he indicated — it didn't take long before other Commanders players started getting in touch with him about Robinson Jr.
In those conversations, Rivera relayed that he had briefly talked to Robinson Jr. on the phone and that Robinson Jr. sounded optimistic considering the circumstances, so they should share that with as many teammates as possible. Rivera then got into a car with Jordan to head to the hospital.
During his press conference, Rivera was donning an orange shirt, which he had previously worn earlier in the offseason as part of the "Wear Orange" anti-gun violence movement. In addition to feeling concern over the 23-year-old's condition, Rivera admitted there was also anger "swelling up" inside of him in light of what transpired.
"This continues to be a nationwide epidemic," Rivera said about gun violence. "We've really got to start getting to the point where we start talking about gun safety and we can't make this a partisan issue. This has to be something that everybody works on together in our communities throughout the United States."
As far as Robinson Jr. eventually returning to the field, Rivera believes "it'll be a matter of time before he's back" but declined to provide a more concrete timeline.
As he walked off the podium, he said that he anticipates additional updates from the hospital, and those will help Washington decide if it's necessary to put Robinson Jr. on the Non-Football Injury list.
The Commanders open the season on Sep. 11 against the Jaguars.