- Associated Press - Thursday, July 29, 2010

ASHBURN, VA. (AP) - Albert Haynesworth failed his conditioning test Thursday and was forced to sit out the first practice of the Washington Redskins training camp, the latest twist in a test of wills between the two-time All-Pro defensive lineman and coach Mike Shanahan.

A person familiar with the situation told The Associated Press that Haynesworth did not pass the test Thursday morning. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because Shanahan planned to address the matter after practice, which was scheduled to be held late in the afternoon.

Haynesworth boycotted the team’s offseason workouts and minicamps because he is unhappy with the Redskins‘ switch to a 3-4 defense and wanted a trade. When he finally returned to Redskins Park on Wednesday, he was told he would have to pass the conditioning test in order to take part in training camp and would start off practicing with the reserves.

Conditioning tests _ which typically involve two series of timed back-and-forth sprints _ are routine among NFL teams before the start of training camp, although failure to pass hasn’t necessarily excluded a player from participation. The Redskins had three players fail the test in 2008, but all three took part as usual in training camp practices.

Haynesworth spent the offseason pursuing his own workout regimen, and his representatives have maintained he was in excellent shape. Shanahan said Haynesworth “looked like he was in good shape” during their meeting Wednesday, but the coach would only say “we’ll see” when asked if he expects the unhappy player to be part of the team in 2010.

The Haynesworth saga has overshadowed a Redskins team trying to start a new chapter with Shanahan and new quarterback Donovan McNabb. Players have tried to ignore the distraction, but several of them called Haynesworth “selfish” when he skipped the mandatory minicamp last month.

Haynesworth wants the freedom that helped make him a dominant player for many years with the Tennessee Titans and does not want to play nose tackle in a 3-4 defense. The Redskins have said he should give the defense a chance.

Haynesworth signed a seven-year, $100-million free-agent deal a year ago, but his first season with Washington led to questions about his focus and commitment.

Shanahan was ready to let Haynesworth go early this year and let him sign with another team, but Haynesworth didn’t want to give up the $21 million bonus he collected April 1 that is part of his contract. Shanahan said once the bonus was paid, Haynesworth had essentially committed himself to playing for the Redskins.

Copyright © 2017 The Washington Times, LLC.

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