Seahawks' Koren Robinson Suspended 4 Games By NFL

Seahawks' Koren Robinson Suspended 4 Games By NFL
KIRKLAND - Seattle Seahawks receiver Koren Robinson was suspended without pay Monday for the next four games for violating the NFL's substance-abuse policy.

Robinson will sit out home games against Buffalo and Dallas, as well as road trips to Minnesota and the New York Jets. He is eligible to return for a Dec. 26 home game against Arizona.

NFL career receiving leader Jerry Rice, who started and had three receptions for 86 yards and a touchdown in Sunday's 24-17 win over Miami, will take over at Robinson's position.

"You just have to keep going," Rice said. "Koren is a great receiver. We wish we had him coming back this week. We've got to have all the guys fill in and somehow keep this ship afloat."

Robinson was at team headquarters Monday, but declined comment. He isn't expected to address the suspension or speak to reporters until he's eligible to play.

"Hopefully, he can come back and overcome this and be the player he can be," Rice said. "I have never seen a guy with so much size and so much speed and so much ability. I'm just going to keep working with him and hopefully it rubs off on him."

Robinson also sat out the Miami game, but coach Mike Holmgren said that was punishment for violating undisclosed team rules and had no relation to the NFL suspension.

Holmgren acknowledged Robinson traveled to New York last week on an off day for Seahawks players to appeal a possible suspension.

This isn't Robinson's first brush with trouble.

The ninth overall pick of the 2001 draft, Robinson was suspended for a game at Arizona last season after missing a team meeting. In February 2003, he was arrested outside a bar in Raleigh, N.C., for failure to disperse.

Holmgren has joked in the past that he installed digital clocks throughout the building at Seahawks headquarters to help Robinson report to meetings on time.

"It's very disappointing to see wonderful potential lost like that," Holmgren said Monday. "Is he going to rebound off this? Yes, but this is a missed time. You just want the lights to go on for some of these young guys, and have them understand how fortunate they are to be doing what they're doing."

Robinson has slumped in his fourth NFL season, catching 31 passes for 495 yards with two touchdowns. He also has been plagued by dropped passes - a recurring problem for Seattle's receivers.

Robinson appeared poised for a breakout after his second NFL season, when he started 16 games and had 78 receptions for 1,240 yards receiving, ranking second to Steve Largent's franchise-record 1,287 yards.

Holmgren was asked if Robinson stands on shaky ground with him.

"I love the guy. I guess I've got a weakness for him," Holmgren said. "This is going to sound a little corny, but even at the professional level I think ... we can still have a positive impact on our players off the field. I hope we can."

Under a change adopted last spring at the urging of Holmgren and others, the NFL Management Council and NFL Players Association agreed to allow suspended players to work out individually at team headquarters.

"That's good," Rice said. "He can feel like he's still part of the team. We're going to have to get him through this."

Previously, players were banned from team facilities for the duration of their suspensions. The change gives players access to the weight room as well as the club's counseling and personnel services.

"I thought we were pushing them right into, or back into, the area where they had a chance to get into trouble," Holmgren said. "I'm glad it's this way. I'm sorry we lose him, but I'm glad we can keep him around here."