Koren Robinson can’t wait to start a new chapter in his turbulent NFL career, especially as he has watched Brett Favre compete over the past year. By all indications, Robinson, who recently was reinstated to the league after serving a suspension as a repeat offender of the league’s substance abuse policy, will return to action on Sunday in Kansas City.
Robinson took part in the Packers’ practice today after sitting out a day this week with soreness in his surgically repaired right knee. If there is no major setback tomorrow and as he warms up at Arrowhead Stadium prior to Green Bay’s game against the Chiefs, he likely will suit up for the first time in nearly 13 months.
“I think I’m up (to the game-day roster). I think I’m up,” Robinson said today after practice. “I know they put me in at starting kickoff returner. I’m expected to play. I’m looking forward to playing. It’s going to be good. It’s going to be a special day. It’s going to be good, real good.”
Robinson, who was activated to the team’s 53-man roster on Tuesday, says he will be taking the first step in a new chapter of his football career by playing against the Chiefs. The sixth-year wide receiver was suspended for a second time in three years by league commissioner Roger Goodell on Oct. 18, 2006, 10 days after playing his last game with the Packers. In August of 2006, as a member of the Minnesota Vikings, Robinson, 27, led police on a high-speed chase near Mankato, Minn., before being stopped and charged with several traffic violations, including drunken driving. In May 2005, as a member of the Seahawks, he also was arrested for drunken driving. This came nearly a year after his first suspension from the NFL.
The Packers signed Robinson to a two-year contract in early September of 2006, and he played in four games before he was suspended. He was reinstated to the league by Goodell on Oct. 18, and with two weeks of practice under his belt, he is not only anxious to play football, but sincerely excited to move forward. If McCarthy decides to place him on the 45-man game day roster to return kickoffs and take a few plays at receiver, the time spent in jail dealing with his punishment, conditioning and counseling will have paid off, says Robinson.
“Confirmation. It’s going to be confirmation that I’m doing something right,” Robinson said. “That I’m doing something right and I did what I need to do to get to this point.”
First, McCarthy has to be convinced that Robinson’s right knee is OK. He had a setback with it during the summer, and during his first five practices last week, Robinson also experienced swelling in the knee, but that has subsided in recent days.
“He felt good today and had a quality work day,” McCarthy said. “We’ll probably see how he responds as we move forward. There was a schedule that we wanted to go into the first week based off how his knee felt the first five practices.”
Robinson is expected to field kickoffs with or replace Tramon Williams, who has been the main kickoff returner all season. If Robinson participates on offense, it probably will only be for a few plays. The Packers enter the game with the No. 2-ranked passing offense in the league behind Favre, and wide receivers Donald Driver, Greg Jennings, James Jones and Ruvell Martin.
Robinson warmed up prior to Green Bay’s game Monday night against Denver, but McCarthy decided to not activate him. Robinson then got a close-up view of Favre dissecting Denver’s secondary in Green Bay’s 19-13 victory, including his 82-yard bomb to Jennings for the game-winning score on the first play of overtime. Nothing new to Robinson, however.
“I just want a little bit. Just a little bit of that, just a little bit,” Robinson said with a big smile. “Especially when I was away, Brett was throwing the ball, like 40-some times a game. Just give me 5 percent of that, I’ll be fine. It’s big that they’re making plays like that.”
His time likely will come on Sunday, which won’t be soon enough for Robinson.
“My anxiety, man, I’m anxious to get back to it, but trying also to be under control and not put too much pressure on myself,” he said. “It’s going to be my first real live competition. We’ll see what happens.”
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