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Commanders preparing to start year without Brian Robinson but hope for his return later this season

Commanders running back Brian Robinson is on the road to recovery after being shot, but Washington don't have a timeline for his return.

Football was the last thing on anyone’s mind when Commanders running back Brian Robinson Jr. was shot twice in the right leg Sunday. But he was released from the hospital after surgery Monday and now is on the mend, prompting a question about when he might return.

The Commanders have no timeline.

They are preparing to start the season without him, while hoping he gets back at some point in 2022.

“He is tremendously blessed and fortunate to be where he is,” General Manager Martin Mayhew said Wednesday, via Stephen Whyno of The Associated Press. “Initially when you hear something like that, you worry about the guy living, and then you worry about his health long term, and then you worry about his ability to play football. And so for him to come through that situation the way that he did is a tremendous blessing.”

Robinson, 23, was on crutches at the team facility Tuesday and Wednesday.

He was expected to start at running back for the Commanders this season. Now, Antonio Gibson returns to his starting role. J.D. McKissic also is on the roster, along with Jonathan Williams.

Robinson escaped a life-threatening or a career-ending injury, with the bullets avoiding damage to ligaments or joints in his knee. But the Commanders will consider Robinson’s mental well-being as well as physical availability before returning him to the lineup, coach Ron Rivera said.

“We know he’s got a bright future, and the future doesn’t have to be immediately now,” Rivera said. “Until he’s ready to roll, we have no intention of putting him out there.”