Disgruntled lineman must pass fitness test

ASHBURN – The biggest question was answered Wednesday, when Albert Haynesworth arrived at Redskins Park and met with the head coach. The real question, however, remains unanswered. And it can’t be answered until Haynesworth steps onto the practice field Thursday.

However, coach Mike Shanahan made it clear that Haynesworth, at least initially, won’t work with the starters. The defensive lineman, who hoped to be traded during the offseason to avoid playing in the Redskins’ new 3-4 scheme, skipped the voluntary offseason workouts and missed the mandatory minicamp in June.

Redskins notes » Coach Mike Shanahan said he would be surprised if LT Trent Williams "misses any length of time." Williams, the fifth overall pick in April, remains unsigned — as does all but one first-round pick. » Shanahan had no update on a contract extension for QB Donovan McNabb. But there are indications the two sides might be getting closer on a potential three-year deal. » CB Carlos Rogers had not yet signed his tender contract offer, but is expected to do so before practice at 4 p.m. Thursday. » G/OT Mike Williams is officially out for the season, Shanahan said. But the Redskins are still weighing their options with him.

Before he signed in Washington as a free agent, Haynesworth made it known that he did not want to play in a 3-4 front after spending his career as a 4-3 defensive tackle. He asked to be traded, but found no takers and received a $21 million bonus in April. Teams still inquired about him — Seattle did last month — but were given a steep price.

“He says he’s in good shape, hopefully he is,” Shanahan said. “It’s easy to talk the game, we’ll see what he does in practice. We’ll see what kind of shape he’s in and how committed he is. He’s here; he’s ready to go and he looks in good shape. We’ll find out very quickly ... I’m very pleased with his mindset.”

Redskins defensive coordinator Jim Haslett did trade text messages with Haynesworth several times this offseason. Because Haynesworth did not work out in Ashburn, he must pass a conditioning test before he can practice.

“Hopefully he’ll fit into our system because if he does he can be an excellent player for us,” Shanahan said. “If not, we’ll be very good anyhow.”

Teammates will accept him even more quickly if he produces.

“Be in shape and be the player he can be,” Redskins end/linebacker Andre Carter said. “I anticipate him taking it to a whole different level. That’s what I’m waiting for and that’s what the whole team is waiting for.”