Tuesday, March 28Welcome

Commanders RB Brian Robinson’s breakout game continues its impressive comeback

The play Ron Rivera had been waiting for came early in the second half on Sunday with a small toss sweep to the outside at 3 and 1. Brian Robinson smashed through the hole for a 21-yard gain as soon as he saw the blocker hole. As soon as the burst started, Washington’s coach thought, “Oh, yeah.”

“I was talking to [running backs coach] Randy Jordan and he told me, “Coach, I’m starting to see that pop back on his feet,” Rivera said. “

After Robinson’s stellar performance last Sunday in the Commanders’ 19-13 victory over the Atlanta Falcons, “Pop” is definitely back in Robinson’s game. He ran for his 18th for 105 yards, caught his two passes for 20 yards, and scored a touchdown in the best performance of his short career.

“His performance was fantastic,” said Rivera.

Taylor Heinicke in Commanders win over Falcons

Taylor Heinicke in Commanders win over Falcons

Washington QB Taylor Heinicke spoke with FOX Sports’ Christina Pink about how the Commanders beat the Falcons last Sunday. “We ran the ball well and converted on third down,” Heinicke said.

He carried out a commander’s attack. And he did it almost three months after the day after he was shot twice in his right leg.

The fact that the 23-year-old is actually playing is something of a miracle, given what happened on August 28, near the end of his first NFL training camp. He was an innocent victim of an armed robbery that left him with gunshot wounds near his hips and knees. The injuries were never life-threatening, and somehow the bullet managed to avoid causing major damage to tendons, ligaments, or bones.

Still, in Robinson’s words, it was “one of the worst things in my life.” When he was rushed to the hospital, of course, he wondered if he would ever be able to play football again. So did Rivera.

“I was lucky enough to be with him when he was talking to the trauma surgeon,” recalled Rivera. “And then I heard her explain exactly, ‘Hey, this is what happened. Here’s how this happened. Hey, you can come back.’ , I was worried — very concerned for the health and life of young people. And we were very lucky when we received the positive news.

Even with the good news about his possible recovery, hopes for Robinson’s rookie season had already been reset. I envisioned myself growing into a leading player on the field.

However, in the aftermath of the shooting, they figured they would have to wait for him to recover physically and mentally. And as a rookie, he may still take time to adjust to the NFL. It looked like

However, the speed of his timeline is remarkable. Robinson was just back from the shooting. He returned to the practice range after 38 days. In his NFL debut just four days later, he scored his 9 carries for 22 yards. A week later he scored his first touchdown. A week after that he made his first 20 carries in his game.

His breakout performance against the Falcons on Sunday came just 91 days after he was shot.

Robinson said, “It was a special moment to have the opportunity to do it, and to be able to do it after everything that happened this year.” Stick to the run game, stick to the run track and discipline.”

“He’s running with confidence,” Rivera added. “He’s starting to feel a little better about cutbacks and running with his vision. It’s just starting to show us.”

It is no coincidence that the commander is also. They’re 6-2 since Robinson’s return to the lineup. And for all the credit given to quarterback Taylor Heinicke for turning the Commanders’ season around, they really stepped up their running on the ground. He averaged only 100.5 rushing yards over four games. However, in his eight games since then, he averaged 131.4 rushing yards per game.

That includes averaging 144 yards during his six wins over his last seven games, and an impressive 154.5 yards on the ground per game over his last four games.

Robinson is not alone. He splits backfield duties with Antonio Gibson, who is the Commanders’ leading rusher this season with 476 yards (just nine ahead of Robinson). And Jonathan Williams will get some carries in a role previously held by JD McKissick, who was placed on injured reserve due to a neck injury.

But with all that power and ferocity, the 6-foot-1-inch, 228-pound Robinson offers something no one else in Washington’s backfield can. Like his catch for his 14-yard touchdown against the Falcons on Sunday, he should have been tackled with his five. Instead, he lowered his shoulders, pushed past Falcons cornerback Darren Hall, and smashed through linebacker Mychal Walker on the goal line. It was all about power, strength and will.

“That’s his ability,” Gibson said. “Yards after contact are insane.”

Commanders cornerback Kendall Fuller added, “You can see the guys are pumped up.” “It’s just the energy that he brought to the game, and that’s exactly the energy that he created for us as a team. It meant a lot to him. Just to see him go out and play. , it’s fun to watch that he’s that player.”

Of course, that “fun” is just one of the many things the Commander feels about seeing Robinson run like that. They’re all well aware of what he went through in August, his rookie season, and how much his life has gone from bad to worse.

Robinson is still feeling that feeling, so after being given the game ball on Sunday, he stood in front of his teammates in the locker room to thank them for their “unconditional love and support.”

“Really, just to help me get to this point,” he told his teammates, “I couldn’t be more grateful to everyone in this room.

Robinson later said: “What I went through was definitely a process of trying to stay mentally strong.” I want to work for you, so I’m really grateful to the people in the building and the locker room who helped me get back to where I wanted to be.

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Ralph Vacchiano is FOX Sports’ NFC East reporter covering the Washington Commanders, Philadelphia Eagles and New York Giants. He spent the last six years covering the Giants and Jets on his SNY TV in New York, and for his 16 years prior to that, he covered the Giants and the NFL on the New York Daily News. Follow him on his Twitter: @RalphVacchiano.

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