August 22, 2010
Just when we thought we were out ... he pulls us back in. Just when we thought all was right between Albert Haynesworth(notes) and the Washington Redskins, Saturday happens, and Mike Shanahan is back to square one. After the Redskins' 23-3 beatdown at the hands of the Baltimore Ravens, the mercurial defensive tackle blasted the coaching staff for not playing him until the third quarter of the game and accused the team of downplaying his medical status.
"It was all right," Haynesworth said of his own performance, in which he picked up a quarterback sack after being relegated to the second team. "Third quarter, though? I'm a ninth-year pro. I don't think I should've been out there in the third quarter. But for having 'headaches' again, that's what they wanted to do."
Ah, yes - the ‘headaches' contention. Haynesworth was primarily unhappy because he believes that the team is underplaying the reasons that he hasn't been able to practice this last week, and there are still raw feelings about his decision to miss off-season training activities because he was unhappy with the team's switch to a 3-4 defense. "I got told I had 'headaches,' or whatever, and that's why I couldn't go out and practice," Haynesworth said, using air quotes every time he said the word 'headaches'. "I think it was a little bit more than that. I guess they didn't want to disclose it."
With the D.C. media around him, and before a team official broke up the impromptu press conference, Haynesworth said that the Redskins were giving their version of his reasons for not practicing " to make themselves look good, make me look bad for not going to their offseason conditioning program. But, I mean, next year I'm not coming either. I'm going to be with my trainer again and I'll get back in the same shape I am and feel good about myself."
And that's where it gets disturbing. The regular season hasn't even started yet, and Haynesworth - who accepted a $21 million roster bonus in April and still hasn't bought into the team concept even though the new defense actually maximizes his abilities - is already barking about what he's not going to do next year.
Haynesworth had this to add in the parking lot: "They act like I had a headache. It was a lot more than that. I got out of a hot tub. I was dizzy. I threw up."
"I don't know what's going on," Haynesworth concluded, "but I've never seen anything like this."
You and us both, Albert - but we get the feeling that we haven't heard the last of it. Jason La Canfora of the NFL Network now reports that Haynesworth may have a condition called rhabdomyolysis, which would be unfortunate in that while it appears to be relatively easy to control, Haynesworth will have difficulty getting any sympathy at this point is this is indeed the case. It's not a permanent condition, and it can be managed with aggressive hydration. But it does go to the root of Haynesworth's anger -- this time.
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