Report: Shanahan May Bench Haynesworth vs. Cowboys

This would not end well

By Janie Campbell
|  Thursday, Sep 2, 2010  |  Updated 6:15 PM EDT
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Know what would totally repair the strained relationship between Mike Shanahan and defensive lineman/test-skipper Albert Haynesworth?

Whatever is the exact opposite of a report from NFL.com's Jason La Canfora suggesting Shanny will actually bench his giant bonus hog in a game that actually counts:

Haynesworth could see a considerable workload this week, but he is still far from assured of a starting spot in Week 1, according to a member of the Redskins' staff. There is even a possibility that Haynesworth could be deactivated for the Redskins' Week 1 matchup with the Dallas Cowboys, the source surmised, as coach Mike Shanahan continues to sort through what has been a troubling offseason with the high-priced defensive lineman.

This is "a source" "surmising," so let's not go overboard. But playing Haynesworth tonight is one thing -- he did miss a lot of practice, after all, and could use some -- the game against Dallas, on the other hand, actually matters a great deal. 

And it's not a night on which any sane coach is going to risk a loss by trying to prove a point that will always, always bounce right off Haynesworth's helmet.

That's not to say Shanahan doesn't have one. Or that Haynesworth's fall camp behavior has been anything worthy of a start. But in a standoff between an NFL coach and a player, the coach can only lose by forcing a win. NFL players can be lazy, entitled irritants worthy of at least a gentle half-strangling, but "just work with them" is practically a head coach's entire job description.

We'd say that surely Shanahan knows that, but then we remember Denver. Perhaps we should also remember the number of a florist, and start forging fake "I'm sorry" cards addressed to Albert's locker. 

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