KNOXVILLE, TENN., JAN. 23 -- Former Washington Redskins replacement team quarterback Tony Robinson is in solitary confinement at the Knox County Penal Farm for violating work privileges, Superintendent Bill Russell said.

Robinson, who played in one game against the Dallas Cowboys during the NFL strike, has only a month to go before his scheduled release from jail on cocaine possession charges.

Russell said Robinson, who turned 24 Friday, was on a 50-prisoner work detail at Hillcrest Nursing Home when he left without permission sometime after 8:30 a.m Friday.

"He told me he left to see about a sick baby who may be dying," Russell said. "Tony told me that the baby may have to be flown to Houston University Hospital . . .

"I told him if he had contacted me, I would have taken him to see the baby if that were the case."

Robinson, a star at the University of Tennessee in the mid 1980s, returned at 12:30 p.m. with the rest of the work crew, Russell said.

The violation will result in the confinement and suspension of all work privileges, Russell said.

He said it will be up to Criminal Court Judge Ray L. Jenkins to determine whether it will affect Robinson's scheduled Feb. 26 release.

Bob Ritchie, Robinson's attorney, said he did not know how the violation would affect Robinson's release. "It is my understanding, when there has been a breach in the rules, it is handled administratively," Ritchie said.

Robinson was sentenced to 90 days at the penal farm after pleading no contest to cocaine charges in November 1986. He has been allowed to work outside the penal farm during the day and return at night.

His sentence was increased to nine months after he broke rules last year by going to an apartment instead of to work.

Robinson was released temporarily last May to pursue a professional football career. He played semi-professional football for the Richmond Ravens and then for the Redskins.