Swollen knee forces Haynesworth to skip Redskins' fitness test

ASHBURN, Va. -- Albert Haynesworth came to work Saturday morning with a slightly swollen knee, forcing him to scrap his latest chance to pass the Washington Redskins' conditioning test and keeping him exiled from practice for yet another day.

The two-time All-Pro defensive tackle arrived early at Redskins Park and told the team he had some irritation in one of his knees. Doctors recommended that Haynesworth not take the test and instead ride a stationary bike and receive treatment.

"Here's a setback already," Redskins coach Mike Shanahan said. "His knee's a little bit swollen. Hopefully it's not too bad."

Shanahan is requiring Haynesworth to pass the test, which consists of two timed 300-yard shuttle runs, before participating in practice. Haynesworth is the only Redskins player required to do so because he skipped the team's offseason conditioning program.

Haynesworth clocked 70 seconds on the first shuttle when he tried to pass the test Thursday -- but he then violated the rules by taking an extended bathroom break.

"He had to use the restroom," Redskins strength and conditioning coach Ray Wright said. "You get 3½ minutes. He was gone close to 10."

So Haynesworth had to start all over again Friday -- and failed.

During a press conference Friday, Shanahan called the drill a "very minimal test" that most of his players could do "in their sleep." He said he is confident Haynesworth eventually will pass.

"I don't want to put a guy out there before he's ready, before I know he's in shape," Shanahan said. "I know it's the best thing for him. He may not know that at this time, but I can guarantee you, the big linemen that I've been with, the guys that are in the trenches, they still need to be in shape."

On Saturday, Haynesworth made his first appearance on the field during a practice, albeit briefly. Wearing his No. 92 jersey for the first time at this training camp and holding a piece of paper in his hands, Haynesworth stood to the side and watched the Redskins' defense walk through some plays for about 10 minutes. He stood next to defensive line coach Jacob Burney, who kept pointing to the other players to help explain the terminology of the team's new 3-4 defense.

After practice, Haynesworth emerged again to walk through some plays individually with Burney and defensive coordinator Jim Haslett, as he has done after every practice so far during camp. Shanahan said Haynesworth again would be an observer at the afternoon team walkthrough.

The switch to a 3-4 defense is the main reason Haynesworth didn't want to stay in Washington, but the Redskins refused to bow to his wish for a trade after he accepted a $21 million bonus in April.

Now Haynesworth has to learn the defense, but he is being taught without actually practicing it. In addition to observing the workouts, he is attending the regular team meetings to learn the schemes and terminology.

"Even though he's not in pads," Shanahan said, "he's still getting the work in."

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press

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