Raiders' Robbins hospitalizedPosted: Sunday January 26, 2003 1:30 PM
Updated: Sunday January 26, 2003 8:59 PM
SAN DIEGO (AP) -- All-Pro center Barret Robbins was hospitalized on Sunday, hours after the Oakland Raiders sent him home from the Super Bowl for an unauthorized absence from the team, football sources told The Associated Press.
Two sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Robbins was expected to spend the night in a hospital after he left the team for nearly 24 hours during the weekend.
Robbins missed the Raiders' curfew on Friday, then didn't turn up at the team hotel until early Saturday night. Four Raiders sources, all speaking on condition of anonymity, said Robbins missed scheduled team events on Saturday, and turned up only shortly before their final evening meeting.
"He's been sent home," Raiders spokesman Craig Long said.
Robbins, who had what the team called a "chemical imbalance" during the 1996 season, was hospitalized in the San Diego area Sunday, the sources close to Robbins said.
The Raiders declared Robbins inactive one hour before the game.
Raiders owner Al Davis declined comment, saying, "Let's play the game."
Robbins was replaced by Adam Treu, the Raiders' long snapper and an experienced veteran. Treu started 14 games at center last season when Robbins was out with a right knee injury.
Robbins was questionable, anyway, with a foot injury, but the Raiders' athletic center was expected to help contain Tampa Bay's formidable defensive front, led by All-Pro tackle Warren Sapp. The Raiders' offensive line was manhandled in the first half by the Buccaneers' league-best defense.
Robbins broke into the Raiders' starting lineup in 1996, but he missed two games late in that season for reasons that never have been clearly outlined. The team later said Robbins had an imbalance that had been corrected.
Robbins, in his eighth season with the Raiders, anchored a line that gave league MVP Rich Gannon enough time to throw for 4,689 yards and direct the NFL's most potent offense.
Robbins was selected to his first Pro Bowl this season, joining tackle Lincoln Kennedy and three other Oakland players on the team. But Robbins was bothered by a foot injury for much of the season, and he was listed as questionable all week.
Robbins was eagerly promoted for the Pro Bowl by the Raiders this season. They touted Robbins as the next in the Raiders' long history of gritty centers -- a list that includes Hall of Famer Jim Otto, who attended the Super Bowl.
In the 1989 Super Bowl, fullback Stanley Wilson of the Cincinnati Bengals was found in his Miami hotel room in a cocaine-induced stupor the night before the game. He did not play, and Cincinnati lost to San Francisco, 20-16.
Ten years later, safety Eugene Robinson of Atlanta was arrested
less than 24 hours before the Super Bowl on charges of solicitation
of prostitution. He played, and was beaten on a touchdown pass by
John Elway as the Falcons lost to the Broncos, 34-19.