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Haynesworth: Redskins underplayed his condition
Question of the Day
LANDOVER, MD. (AP) - Albert Haynesworth took his most defiant stand yet against Mike Shanahan on Saturday night, saying the Washington Redskins coach underplayed the two-time All-Pro’s medical condition in recent days and that he intends to boycott next year’s offseason conditioning program as well.
Haynesworth stopped practicing early Tuesday at training camp and did not practice Wednesday or Thursday. Shanahan gave varying explanations for Haynesworth’s idleness each day. The coach initially said Haynesworth “just was sick,” then said the cause was dehydration, then finally said it was “more of a headache than anything else.”
Haynesworth said he had something more, but he didn’t specify what.
“You’ll have to ask them, but I guess they’ll tell you ‘headaches’ again,” said Haynesworth, emphasizing the word by holding his fingers in the air to simulate quotation marks. “It was part of it, but it wasn’t all of it. They left out a whole lot of stuff.”
Why would the Redskins do that?
“I don’t know. I guess make yourself look good, I don’t know. Make me look bad for not going to their offseason conditioning program,” Haynesworth said. “But, I mean, next year I’m not coming either. I’ll be on my trainer again, and I’ll get back in the same shape I’m in, and feel good about myself.”
It was Haynesworth’s boycott of the Redskins‘ offseason program that drew Shanahan’s ire all spring. Haynesworth stayed away in part because he wanted to work with his own trainer, but also because he wanted a trade so he wouldn’t have to play nose tackle in a 3-4 defense.
Because he didn’t take part in the offseason work, Haynesworth was required by Shanahan to pass a conditioning test in order to practice at training camp. Haynesworth failed on his first attempts and didn’t pass the test until the 10th day of camp.
Once he started practicing, Haynesworth was made to work with the second-stringers. He played with the backups in the first preseason game a week ago and again Saturday night, entering in the second half after all the starters had departed.
“Third quarter. I’m a ninth-year pro,” Haynesworth said. “I don’t think I should have been out there in the third quarter. But, for having ‘headaches’ again, that was what they wanted to do.”
The Redskins said Shanahan will respond to Haynesworth’s statements on Monday, when the team resumes practice. Addressing reporters before Haynesworth spoke, Shanahan reiterated his stance on Haynesworth’s place on the team.
“He wasn’t going to play with the first or second team for obvious reasons,” Shanahan said. “He’s going to have to earn his way to play with that group.”
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