GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) -As NFL officials review Koren Robinson's petition for reinstatement from a one-year suspension, the troubled wide receiver has a prominent teammate firmly in his corner.
Brett Favre.
Favre said Wednesday that he spoke with Robinson earlier this week and came away believing Robinson is serious about cleaning up his act and should be given another chance.
``Now, I'm a little bit biased, obviously,'' Favre said. ``But I think he's done everything he's been asked to do, and it's time to set a good example - that you can resurrect not only your career, but your life. I mean, there's still a lot left for him to do on and off the field, but give the guy an opportunity.''
Robinson, who was suspended a minimum of one year for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy, becomes eligible to return Oct. 17 and has petitioned for reinstatement.
Favre said Robinson is eager to meet with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, who has emphasized strong punishment for players' off-field misbehavior since taking over for Paul Tagliabue last year.
``I knew it was coming up, his visit with the commissioner, and he's anxiously awaiting,'' Favre said. ``Hopefully it gets done this week, where he can meet with him. He says, 'That's the thing I've been looking to more than anything, a chance to, eye-to-eye, sit down and talk with him and he can see how confident I am in where I am.' And I think before he didn't feel that way.''
NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said Robinson does not have a meeting scheduled with the commissioner, and such a meeting is not required for Robinson to be reinstated.
``The petition for reinstatement is under review,'' Aiello said in an e-mail to The Associated Press. ``When a decision is made, it will be announced.''
``I can't even comment on Koren's situation right now,'' coach Mike McCarthy said Wednesday. ``But that is something that we will watch.''
Robinson's suspension came in the wake of an incident in August 2006 while he was playing for the Minnesota Vikings.
Police said Robinson led them on a car chase at speeds over 100 mph, and his blood-alcohol content was found to be 0.11 percent, above the legal limit of 0.08. The Vikings cut Robinson, and he signed a two-year deal with the Packers in September.
But he played in only four games before he was suspended.
In February, Robinson was sentenced to 90 days in jail after pleading down to a charge of fleeing police. Robinson also was sentenced to three months in jail for violating probation on a separate drunken-driving case in Kirkland, Wash., last year.
Favre said giving Robinson another chance could counter some of the negative attention the league has received for players' off-field missteps.
``I'm not the commissioner, but I think there needs to be some positives,'' Favre said. ``There hasn't been a whole lot of positives as far as suspensions and things of that nature, and it would be nice.''
Last year, Favre was critical of the league's policy of not allowing players to stay in contact with their teams while under suspension. Favre still feels that way, saying he can relate to Robinson because of his past battles with drinking and the abuse of painkillers.
``In some ways, I've been through a lot of the same things he's been through, and it doesn't make you a bad person,'' Favre said. ``In Koren's case, I'm seeing this great side of him. I think he's an outstanding player; wish we'd have had more time to work with each other last year, but everything seems to be going great for him, and that's fantastic. He's eager to get back, and says he's in tremendous shape.''
The Packers lead the league with an average of 294.6 yards passing per game, but Favre believes the team has a place for Robinson. Favre said Robinson is ``born to play football,'' and it would be a shame to not give him the chance to do it again.
``Time will tell, but I think he can offer a lot,'' Favre said. ``I think, in just my conversations with him and I don't doubt this, last year he came in, his knee was hurt, he had a lot of off-field issues. Whereas this year I think he knows where he stands, not looking over his shoulder. He said physically speaking, he feels great, he said the only shape I'm not in is game shape - and the only way you get in that is, you play.''

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