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Keenan Robinson Optimistic Despite Pectoral Injury

The backup inside linebacker will undergo surgery next week to repair the torn pectoral, and he believes his experience with the injury last season will allow him to return sooner.


RICHMOND – Keenan Robinson believes he’ll be able to return faster from a torn pectoral this year given that he went through the exact same rehabilitation last year.


Robinson, a backup inside linebacker, tore his left pectoral in the Redskins’ first practice of training camp on Thursday. He missed the final six games of the regular season with a torn right pectoral, which took roughly seven months to heal.

“Yeah, it’d be one thing if it happened to the same arm, because then it’d be like, ‘Well, there was probably something I could do to prevent it,’” Robinson said Saturday morning, speaking for the first time about the injury.

Robinson was trying to wrap up the ballcarrier during team drills in practice before he fell and landed awkwardly. He doesn’t know exactly how the muscle tear happened; he remembered putting his left arm out to try to stop his fall, but didn’t believe at the time anything was wrong.

He slowly got up off the field, then pointed to his left shoulder and walked over to assistant athletic trainer Eli Bisnett-Cobb. He received word the muscle was torn following an MRI that night, and orthopedic surgeon and team consultant James Andrews, who operated on Robinson the first time, will conduct surgery again at some point next week.

Robinson said the extent of that surgery will determine how long he’ll be out. Mike Shanahan said Friday the fastest he’s seen a player recover from a torn pectoral is three months.

“There’s a possibility I could be back, but that depends on what type of surgery Dr. Andrews has to do,” Robinson said. “Once he goes in, he’ll tell me for sure.”

Robinson was slotted as London Fletcher’s backup at mike linebacker. A fourth-round pick out of Texas last year, he played just 67 snaps on defense last season, though 38 of those were in the two games leading up to his injury.

Fletcher, 38, is in the final season of his contract, and the possibility remains that Robinson could succeed him as a starter.

“The coaches – they still believe in me,” Robinson said. “They know that I can and will be a great player one day. I just have to wait my turn. If I don’t play this year, I’ll just take it in stride. Less wear and tear on my body. I’ll learn from it, I’ll get better mentally and help the team if not this year, then next year.”