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Commanders promote former Alabama running back

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By Mark Inabinett | minabinett@al.com

One former Alabama running back’s misfortune is another former Crimson Tide ball-carrier’s opportunity with the Washington Commanders.

 

The Commanders announced on Friday that running back Brian Robinson Jr. would not play in Sunday’s game against the New York Jets because of a hamstring injury.

 

With running back Jonathan Williams also out of action because of a concussion, Washington signed running back Derrick Gore from its practice squad.

 

The Commanders had to sign Gore to the 53-man active roster to make him eligible to play on Sunday.

Each NFL team can elevate two players from its practice squad to active status for each game.

But a player cannot be elevated more than three times during the season, and Gore had reached his limit.

 

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Gore is on an NFL active roster during the regular season for the first time since 2021,

when he ran for 256 yards and two touchdowns on 51 carries and caught eight passes for 105 yards in 11 games with the Kansas City Chiefs.

 

This season, Gore has two carries for 23 yards while getting on the field for 16 offensive snaps and 38 special-teams plays in three games for the Commanders.

 

Robinson ran for 664 yards and five touchdowns on 160 carries and caught 29 passes for 326 yards and three touchdowns while starting Washington’s first 13 games this season.

But Robinson missed Sunday’s 28-20 loss to the Los Angeles Rams because of his hamstring injury.

 

As a walk-on at Alabama, Gore gained 108 yards on 24 rushing attempts in the 2015 and 2016 seasons. He scored once for the Crimson Tide, running 10 yards for a touchdown in Alabama’s 54-16 victory over Florida in the SEC Championship Game on Dec. 3, 2016. Gore also blocked a punt in that game, and Josh Jacobs picked up the bouncing football and returned it for a Tide touchdown.

 

After transferring to Louisiana-Monroe, Gore ran for 1,247 yards and 12 touchdowns on 295 carries and caught 34 passes for 254 yards and one TD in two seasons before entering the NFL as an undrafted rookie in 2019.

 

An All-State player at Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa, Robinson stayed home to play at Alabama from 2017 through 2021.

In his final season, Robinson ran for 1,343 yards and 14 touchdowns on 271 carries and caught 35 passes for 296 yards and two touchdowns.

 

Robinson joined Washington as a third-round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft.

He led the Commanders with 797 yards and two touchdowns on 205 carries as a rookie even though he missed the first four games of the season after being shot twice the day after Washington’s final preseason game.

 

The Commanders and Jets will square off at noon CST Sunday at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

 

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