|NFL reinstates Packers wide receiver Koren Robinson|
|Written by Admin|
|Wednesday, 17 October 2007 14:56|
Now Robinson says he won't let Brett Favre, or the rest of his teammates, down.
``I'm glad I get an opportunity to redeem myself,'' Robinson said Wednesday night in a conference call from Houston, while traveling to see his family before heading to Green Bay.
Robinson has a final chance under the NFL's substance abuse policy after the league reinstated the wide receiver from his one-year suspension on Wednesday.
If Robinson violates the policy again, he faces a lifetime ban.
``I know this is my last chance,'' he said. ``If I do anything to jeopardize that, I didn't deserve it in the first place.''
Robinson said Favre, who has shared his own struggles with excessive drinking, checked in with him every month or so over the past year, and more frequently when the season began.
Favre has been outspoken that Robinson deserved another chance.
``To have him speak highly of me, it just motivates me to continue to do what I'm doing,'' Robinson said. ``He also just says that he's here for me. Regardless of what happens, he'll always be here for me. That's cool. That makes me feel good, man.''
Robinson said he learned about being reinstated on Sunday while attending the Panthers-Cardinals game in Glendale, Ariz. Commissioner Roger Goodell was there and sought a meeting with Robinson at the stadium.
``We had a good conversation,'' said Robinson, who met Goodell during the third quarter. ``I could tell by his body language and his demeanor that ... it was going to be a good meeting.''
Wednesday was the first day Robinson was eligible to return from his suspension, and Packers general manager Ted Thompson said the organization was grateful for the progress he has made.
``It's been a year since we've seen Koren, so our first step is to have him return to Green Bay,'' Thompson said. ``The Packers will request a roster exemption, during which time we would see where Koren is at in terms of football shape.''
The Packers are 5-1 and tied with Dallas atop the NFC. Green Bay currently has a full 53-man roster, but cornerback/kick returner Will Blackmon broke his right foot on Oct. 3 and has been out ever since.
Robinson said he would be happy returning kicks again and being the fourth receiver behind Donald Driver, Greg Jennings and rookie James Jones.
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 2006, but played in only four games before he was suspended. He made seven receptions for 89 yards and averaged 21 yards on 12 kickoff returns for the Packers.
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.
Robinson said he takes a daily pill that deters him from drinking by making him sick if he has alcohol, and he has his liver enzymes checked regularly by doctors.
``It's a safety blanket for me,'' Robinson said. ``I use it like a vitamin. I don't have any qualms about it.''
Robinson said his comeback will be complete when he returns to the field, but his year off put everything in perspective and allowed him to focus on his ``demon.''
``Even if I didn't get reinstated, I would've still been happy. I'd still been OK because really the football thing was just a bonus. I'm more happy with where I'm at as a person in my life,'' Robinson said. ``I think that's more important than my career.''