How the Brian Robinson Jr. situation impacted Washington’s roster moves

How the Robinson Jr. situation impacted Washington's roster originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

Fortunately, Brian Robinson Jr. the person is healthy and “in a really good place” after the attempted robbery on Sunday that ended in Robinson Jr. being shot multiple times.

However, the running back’s status as an NFL player for the regular season is still largely unknown, and that impacted Washington’s moves during Tuesday’s cutdown to a 53-man roster, Ron Rivera explained.

“Brian’s situation,” Rivera said in a presser, “is something that we have to look at and consider.”

The first point worth mentioning is that Robinson Jr. is currently on the Commanders roster. While Rivera was speaking to reporters, in fact, the rookie was visiting with doctors at the club’s facility in an effort to further gain a grasp on where his is health-wise. 

Should the reports come back with a best-case outcome, perhaps Robinson Jr. can simply stay put and return to the field before the season progresses all that much. However, if he’s in need of more time to recuperate, he could be placed on the Non-Football Injury list (where he’d remain for at least four games).

With a rather vague quote on Tuesday, Rivera hinted that the franchise is weighing that exact dilemma.

“Anything close to a certain situation, we’ll do one thing,” he said. “Close to another situation, we’ll do something else.”

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Elsewhere at running back, Rivera elected to keep Jonathan Williams. Antonio Gibson and J.D. McKissic were always going to make it past camp, but Williams was far from a sure thing.

Turns out that Williams’ overlap in skills with Robinson Jr. was key in that call.

“Jonathan’s very similar in style to Brian,” Rivera said. “That’s what we’re looking for right now.”

As for Gibson, he’s still in the mix to be Washington’s kick returner, even if his running back responsibilities will increase while Robinson Jr. heals. Dax Milne, whom Rivera confirmed will serve as the punt returner, could also handle that gig. 

There are a couple of non-Robinson Jr. related oddities worth discussing, too.

By getting rid of Danny Johnson and Corn Elder, the Commanders submitted a roster with just four cornerbacks on it. Then there’s tight end, which currently is home to five players. Both numbers are highly unusual for their respective spots.

The depth chart is absolutely not set, though. Robinson Jr. isn’t the only member of the squad with an injury to figure out (tight end Curtis Hodges is on the 53 but has been inactive for a couple of weeks, for example) and the league’s 31 other organizations released contributors of their own on Tuesday that the organization could elect to add.

So, the version of the team that exists now isn’t going to match up with the one that’ll match up with the Jaguars in Week 1 at FedEx Field.

“As we go through this, we’re not done,” Rivera said. “I’ll just leave it at that.”

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