‘You’ve seen his spirit just come back to life’


“With [Robinson], you’ve got a power guy,” Rivera said. “You’ve got a guy that can run between the tackles. With Antonio, you have a guy that runs off the edges pretty doggone well, and he’s a load, with his size. If he gets into space with the ball, he’s very great. Then, you’ve got JD, who’s your change-of-pace guy who comes in on third down. You have a good trio of backs. That’s a very positive thing, we believe, for what we want to do offensively.”

On Tuesday, Jordan praised Robinson’s “body type,” explaining that “he’s long, he’s linear, but he’s heavy.”

“He runs with an attitude,” Jordan said. “He’s got good contact, balance, good vision. He’s a heck of a competitor, like they all are. He loves to compete, and he’s got a great sense of who he is… he’s got a really bright future.”

A future that was jeopardized on Aug. 28, a day Rivera still thinks about.

“It really was one of those things that you sit there and think, ‘What else?’ Rivera said. “It’s crazy, because every time my phone rings and I’m at home and I look at it, and I see it’s from one of our people here… I sit there and go, ‘Oh boy, let’s find out.’ It was kind of that feeling. That helpless feeling.”

Jordan said he tells Robinson “all the time it’s by the grace of God.”

“There is no explanation but God saying, ‘This is not your time. This is not supposed to be,'” Jordan said. “There was something, I told him this in the hospital. I said, ‘There’s a bigger purpose for you somewhere. God has given you this experience for a reason. You just have to make sure that when the time is right, when he shows you his plan, you’re ready to act and be a disciple of that plan.’ That’s how I’ve explained it to people.”

The incident left many players on the team concerned, not just for Robinson but for their own safety. Rivera spoke in front of the whole team and reminded his players of who they were and why they needed to always be on high alert.

“I’ve never seen anything like this,” Rivera said. “When I first heard about it, and I did think about it for a moment, it was sickening to me. First of all, it was in broad daylight, in our nation’s capital. A few blocks away from the US Capitol. You sit there and you go, ‘Really? This is going to happen at 5 in the afternoon. Are you kidding me?’ That just worries you. It speaks to gun violence in our society. The thing you worry about is that there is not enough gun safety and education. If this is how our society is going to be, we’ve got to do something about guns. safety and gun education.”

Rivera said he “learned about the human spirit and how resilient it is.”

“This is a young man that when I was talking to him in the trauma room, he was really despondent, but as he’s gotten out, you’ve seen his spirit just come back to life every day, every day, every day. . .. That’s a really cool thing, it really is,” Rivera said. “To me, it’s all based on his spirit, who he is as a young man.”


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