Packers receiver Robinson ready to make season debut
A big smile came over Robinson’s face when he stopped to take a look at what was on TV on his way back to the locker room after practice Friday.
“I was watching the NFL Network; I saw it come up down in the bottom of the screen that I’m expected to play on Sunday,” Robinson said. “It’s lovely. It was news to me. It’s going to be good, man.”
Coach Mike McCarthy is withholding a decision on Robinson’s status until before kickoff of the 6-1 Packers’ game at Kansas City.
McCarthy, though, was encouraged by how Robinson functioned in his return to practice and listed him as probable on the injury report.
Robinson was given a day off to rest after experiencing lingering soreness in his surgically repaired right knee.
“It benefited him. He felt good today, and he had a quality workday,” McCarthy said.
McCarthy said how Robinson’s knee responds Saturday coming off a full practice would be a big indicator of whether he can play against the Chiefs.
The NFL reinstated Robinson on Oct. 18 after he served a one-year suspension for a repeat violation of its substance-abuse policy.
During his banishment from football, Robinson underwent arthroscopic surgery in December on the knee that troubled him early last season in his short stint with the Packers.
League commissioner Roger Goodell signed off on Robinson’s return to the team after the former first-round draft pick had full compliance with the conditions of the suspension.
Robinson subsequently went through a long practice week for the Packers last week, who were coming off their bye and had extra time to prepare for the game Monday night at Denver.
An unusual five days of practice took their toll on Robinson, causing the right knee to flare up.
“The intensity of practice was real high, and my body, I guess, wasn’t ready for it,” Robinson said.
Green Bay decided to hold him out of the game Monday. The Packers added him to the 53-man roster Tuesday, when a two-week roster exemption for Robinson expired.
“I feel so much more comfortable this week than I did last week,” Robinson said. “I expected the terminology (of the offense) to be easier. My legs feel good. I feel like I’m getting acclimated to everything that I have to do. I feel like I’m going in the right direction.”
In the wake of a series of off-field incidents the last few years stemming from alcohol use, Robinson is down to his last strike for playing in the NFL.
The knowledge that one more breach of the substance-abuse policy would constitute a lifetime ban has Robinson motivated to put the past troubles behind him, starting with his anticipated season debut Sunday.
“It’s going to be confirmation that I’m doing something right,” Robinson said. “That I’m doing something right and I did do what I needed to do to get to this point, but I’ve got to continue.
“I don’t know how I’m going to feel. I might cry. I might be excited, happy, I don’t know, man. But, I know it’s going to be special just thinking about it.”
Robinson worked as the primary kickoff returner in practice Friday and was involved in some offensive sets as a fourth receiver.
Seeing his game status later crawl across a TV screen has Robinson counting the hours down until Sunday.
“It’s going to be a special day,” he said. “It’s going to be good, real good.”
NOTES: C Scott Wells practiced the last two days after being out nearly a week with pneumonia. He is probable for the game but might be activated only for emergency duty. Jason Spitz and Wells split the practice reps at center. “I’ll wait until Sunday to (name the starter),” McCarthy said. “But, the way we worked the reps, if we played today, Jason would start.” ... DT Ryan Pickett is questionable with a bruised knee, but he pronounced himself ready to play after going through a full practice for the first time this week. “I don’t know what the coaches would do, but in my mind, I can go,” Pickett said. ... TE Bubba Franks (knee), DT Justin Harrell (ankle) and CB Will Blackmon (foot) have been ruled out.
Last updated: 9:46 am Thursday, December 13, 2012