This Thanksgiving, Brian Robinson Jr. is simply 'grateful for life'

This Thanksgiving, Robinson Jr. is simply 'grateful for life' originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

ASHBURN, Va. -- For Brian Robinson Jr., Thanksgiving this year means a bit more than a day off from practice and the chance to eat a hefty meal.

The Commanders rookie, who was shot multiple times during an attempted robbery in the District in late August and missed Washington's first four games as he recovered, told reporters on Wednesday that he's especially cherishing this edition of the holiday.

"I'm grateful for life," Robinson said at his locker. "I'm grateful to be here. I'm grateful to still be playing sports. Get to talk to my family, get to see my teammates — lot of things to be thankful for this year. But more than anything, I'm just thankful for everybody who played a part in just helping me get back on my feet and recover."

In the days following the shooting, Ron Rivera, other Commanders players, members of the front office and owners Dan and Tanya Snyder visited Robinson at the hospital. The 23-year-old has since emerged as a crucial part of the squad's physical offense in what's been an awe-inspiring comeback from the near-tragedy.

There'll be nothing physical about Robinson's Thanksgiving, though, as Rivera is allowing the team to celebrate away from the facility. For Robinson, he'll do so with loved ones who are traveling to the area from Alabama.

"I've just been saying all week, 'Man, I'm just so ready to see my family,' and this is probably the one year I've felt like that the most," he said. "I'm excited to get my family in here tomorrow and have a great time."

Curtis Samuel is another Commander who's relieved to have his health. While Samuel's 2021 groin injury is nothing compared to what happened to Robinson over the summer, the wideout has been quite candid about how the ailment impacted his mood throughout his first season in Washington.

He's been able to contribute in every game so far, however, and that's a fact he won't be taking for granted.

"Understanding where I was at last year and where I'm at right now," Samuel said Wednesday. "I feel like I've been down a long path, a long journey."

Carson Wentz is planning on opening his home to members of the club on Thursday, and Taylor Heinicke will be among those attending the get-together. Wentz, for a change, won't be the one running the operation. Instead, the festivities will be overseen by his better half.

"My wife's planned everything," Wentz said, "so I can't take too much credit.