Haynesworth not (yet) suspended, returns in pads

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Haynesworth not (yet) suspended, returns in pads

By A. Sherrod Blakely
CSNNE.com Celtics Insider
Follow @sherrodbcsn
FOXBORO There was an Albert Haynesworth sighting -- in pads -- at the New England Patriots' practice on Tuesday.

But it remains a mystery as to when the All-Pro will actually play in a game for the Pats.

In the past, it has been his health and conditioning at issue. Now, it's a potential suspension by the NFL that is of a greater concern.

Haynesworth, who spent the last two seasons with the Washington Redskins, was in Washington on Monday where he entered a plea of no contest on simple assault charges stemming from an incident at a D.C. hotel on Feb. 13 in which he was accused of fondling a waitress' breast as he slid his credit card into her blouse.

Patriots coach Bill Belichick was asked about potential punishment for Haynesworth.

"Whatever the league does, they'll announce," Belichick said.

By entering the no contest plea to the lesser charge, Haynesworth avoided a sexual abuse trial in which he could have been looking at potential jail time.

As part of Hayneworth's plea agreement, he will serve 160 hours of community service. If he completes his community service and stays trouble-free for 18 months, prosecutors have agreed to drop the charges. In addition, the Washington Post reported that Haynesworth also agreed to an alcohol abuse assessment and a psychological assessment as part of the plea deal.

The sexual abuse case was just the latest setback for Haynesworth, who has missed the bulk of preseason practice, keeping him from becoming familiar with the Patriots system.

"It helps every player to be out there in practice," Belichick said. "If it didn't, why would we practice?"

The 30-year-old Haynesworth is with his third NFL team, having spent the past nine seasons with Tennessee (2002-2008) and Washington (2009-2010).

A. Sherrod Blakely can be reached at sblakely@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Sherrod on Twitter at http:twitter.comsherrodbcsn

Patriots-Steelers injury report: Seven Pats listed as questionable

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Patriots-Steelers injury report: Seven Pats listed as questionable

FOXBORO -- The Patriots will head into Sunday's AFC title game with seven players listed as questionable, including three receivers. 

Danny Amendola, Malcolm Mitchell and Chris Hogan have all been limited in practices this week due to their injuries. Amendola has been dealing with an ankle issue since a Week 13 win over the Rams, while Mitchell has not played since injuring his knee in Week 16 against the Jets. Hogan suffered a thigh injury against the Texans and left the game in the third quarter.

Both Hogan and Mitchell indicated this week that they were moving in the right direction in terms of their recoveries. One would think that the Patriots would need at least one, if not both, to help stress the back end of the Steelers secondary this weekend.

Hogan has been the team's most consistent down-the-field threat this season, averaging a whopping 17.9 yards per catch during the regular season. Against the Texans, before his injury, he reeled in four passes for 95 yards. 

Mitchell, meanwhile, had a very productive second half of his rookie season before he was hurt. He compiled 25 catches for 306 yards between Weeks 11 and 16, establishing himself as one of Tom Brady's go-to targets. 

The overall health of the Patriots receiving corps -- which will also include Julian Edelman and Michael Floyd -- will bear watching when the Patriots and Steelers kick off in two days.

The injury report for Sunday's Patriots-Steelers game:

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS

QUESTIONABLE
WR Danny Amendola (ankle)
TE Martellus Bennett (knee)
RB Brandon Bolden (knee)
LB Dont'a Hightower (shoulder)
WR Chris Hogan (thigh)
WR Malcolm Mitchell (knee)
DL Jabaal Sheard (knee)

PITTSBURGH STEELERS

QUESTIONABLE
TE Ladarius Green (concussion/illness)
LB James Harrison (shoulder/triceps)
RB Fitzgerald Toussaint (concussion)

NOT LISTED
RB Le'Veon Bell (not injury related)
K Chris Boswell (illness)
LB Anthony Chickillo (ankle)
S Sean Davis (shoulder)
C B.J. Finney (illness)
WR Darrius Heyward-Bay (illness)
DE Ricardo Mathews (ankle)
QB Zach Mettenberger (illness)
S Michael Mitchell (not injury related)
QB Ben Roethlisberger (not injury related)
LB Vince Williams (shoulder)