Albert Haynesworth goes the distance in Washington Redskins' preseason finale

With a majority of the Redskins' projected opening-day starters getting the night off, a group of hopefuls and long-shots get their chance to make a final impression against the Cardinals.
By Jason Reid
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, September 3, 2010; 2:41 AM

GLENDALE, ARIZ. - With the preseason finished, it remains to be seen whether Albert Haynesworth has regained his standing as a starter for the Washington Redskins.

If he hasn't, Haynesworth worked without purpose Thursday night as Washington closed the preseason with a 20-10 loss to the Arizona Cardinals.

The Pro Bowl defensive lineman started for the first time in the preseason and played right defensive end most of the night in front of 61,509 people at University of Phoenix Stadium. On a night when the Redskins' other top performers relaxed and 31 players did not dress, Haynesworth played the entire game, participating in 49 of Washington's 55 defensive plays.

Having such a big workload in the final preseason game may not have sat well with Haynesworth. As a reporter approached Haynesworth in the locker room, he said, "I have no comment."

The coaching staff had a plan for Haynesworth in the game, Coach Mike Shanahan said.

"He's got to get in football shape," Shanahan said. "For the same reasons we've talked about. We got to get him some playing time so he can get back in football shape. I got to take a look at the film to tell you exactly how he played.

"But that's one of the reasons he's playing defensive end and nose tackle positions. We've got to get him as good as he can possibly be and get in football shape. There's only one way to do it and that's to practice and play."

Asked if Haynesworth was informed he would play the entire game, Shanahan said: "He knew. I think he knew. Coaches said he knew."

Defensive coordinator Jim Haslett backed up Shanahan.

"He just needed reps," Haslett said. "I didn't see any impact plays. I didn't see any sacks or things like that. But those guys [Arizona's offensive line], if they do their work, then they're playing pretty well. I know the one [play], he had a mental error.

"He went the wrong way on the quarterback scramble. Besides that, I'm not sure. Hopefully, he played well for his sake."

After starting at right end in the nickel package and playing through the third quarter during the previous game against the New York Jets, Haynesworth lined up at his preferred position from the outset against Arizona. The nine-year veteran was on the field for the first five plays of the Cardinals' game-opening, eight-play drive, which resulted in a 42-yard field goal by place kicker Jay Feely.

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