Haynesworth not (yet) suspended, returns in pads

Haynesworth not (yet) suspended, returns in pads
August 23, 2011, 6:10 pm
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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