MANKATO, Minn. - Koren Robinson's high-speed flee from police and subsequent drunken driving charges have steered the Minnesota Vikings toward a rough spot in the road - and the regular season is still weeks away.
Convinced his alcohol problems were in the past after a remarkable comeback that led to a trip to the Pro Bowl, the Vikings trusted Robinson with a rich contract to be their top receiver this year.
Now he's in big trouble, and the team might be without one of its best offensive players for awhile.
Robinson's blue BMW sedan was caught on radar going more than 100 mph in a 55 mph zone at 10:45 p.m. Tuesday, and he refused to stop, St. Peter police chief Matt Peters said. Robinson was arrested by police about 10 miles away in Mankato, where the Vikings hold their training camp.
Robinson, a former first-round draft pick whose promising career with Seattle was derailed by alcohol problems, was charged Wednesday in Nicollet County with fleeing from police, a felony, along with two drunken driving charges and three other misdemeanors. The criminal complaint said a field test measured Robinson's blood-alcohol content at 0.11 percent.
Chained at the ankles, he appeared at a brief court hearing wearing an orange jail jumpsuit. After posting $50,000 bail, Robinson left with his wife, Joy, a friend and his attorney, Joe Tamburino. He smiled but did not respond to questions from reporters.
His next court appearance is Oct. 17, but his status with the Vikings until then is up in the air. Coach Brad Childress, who learned of the arrest soon after Robinson missed the team's 11 p.m. curfew, said it was too soon to speculate on his future or the possibility of punishment.
"When you have 24 hours off, it's hard to wander around with them. They understand that," Childress said. "But you know, somebody is going to step over a line. Somebody is not going to be responsible. And I have no tolerance for that. These guys understand that in no uncertain terms."
Tamburino said his client was looking forward to being back with the Vikings as soon as possible.
"Mr. Robinson is a fine individual," Tamburino said. "He takes these matters very seriously."
The 26-year-old Robinson's history with the league includes a four-game suspension in 2004 for a second violation of the NFL's substance-abuse policy while playing for Seattle. NFL spokesman Greg Aiello wouldn't comment on Robinson's new arrest but said the league reviews cases based on its policy.
After pleading guilty to driving under the influence in 2005, Robinson was released by the Seahawks. He later spent 28 days in a treatment facility for alcohol abuse.
Given a second chance with the Vikings, Robinson worked his way up the depth chart and finished with 22 catches for 347 yards and one touchdown while starting five games. As a kickoff returner, he was invited to the Pro Bowl for the first time. The Vikings signed him in March to a three-year contract worth up to $12.7 million that included $5.5 million in guaranteed money.
"Just in doing my research, I thought he was in a good place," Childress said.
In July, Robinson strongly denied a report that he had slipped out of sobriety. He said in an interview that he was taking some relapse prevention classes in preparation for the season, when there's less time to work on maintaining his recovery and more stress from a pressure to perform and a burden on the body.
"I'm not in rehab. I'm still doing good. I'm still not drinking. I'm still working out. I'm still Koren, the cheerful, happy guy you all saw last year," he said then.
Robinson also said he knew he'd always be under scrutiny as a recovering alcoholic.
"What a demon it must be," Childress said. "I saw no indications out here. He was having a great training camp. Obviously, it was too strong of power and too strong of an influence."
The Vikings have become infamous for finding trouble off the field, including their lewd boat party last fall that led to misdemeanors for four players, though charges against former quarterback Daunte Culpepper were dropped.
Owner Zygi Wilf, who completed his purchase of the club last summer, has vowed to clean up the team's image in the community.
"One of the reasons I'm here in this job and one of the mandates from the Wilf family is that they want this ship run right," Childress said. "I am trying to create a culture of accountability."
Other Vikings said little about the situation.
"We're all adults. You have to be responsible for your actions," said cornerback Antoine Winfield. "He did what he did. It's over. We have to move on."
Travis Taylor, who filled Robinson's spot with the first team during Wednesday's practice, talked to the other receivers about staying together.
"I love Koren as a friend. Forget football. It doesn't matter," he said. "I love Koren dearly. That's the bottom line."
At Seattle's camp, coach Mike Holmgren said he was saddened by the news.
"When he was with us, I rooted for him. I tried to help him. I felt I kind of failed the kid somehow," Holmgren said. "He's got to get a grip on this before something bad happens."