Defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth practiced with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for the first time Thursday. But coach Raheem Morris isn’t ready to say if Haynesworth will play in Sunday’s game against Houston.
“Yet to be determined,’’ Morris told the Tampa Bay media. “We’ve got to go out and practice again on Friday, practice on Saturday and get through our walk-through. He did a nice job of getting to practice, going through meetings, picking up the system fast.’’
The Buccaneers play a 4-3 scheme, similar to what Haynesworth played in when he was in Tennessee and thriving. In recent years, Haynesworth played in different systems in Washington and New England and didn’t have as much impact as he did for the Titans.
“Now he’s back in a system where he can get off the ball and cause disruption,’’ Morris said. “That’s who he is and what he’s been and that’s what we’re going to ask him to do.’’
Haynesworth was claimed off waivers after the Buccaneers lost Gerald McCoy to a season-ending injury. Haynesworth will only cost the Bucs about $700,000 the rest of this season. He remains under contract through 2012, and his salary jumps to about $7 million next season.
It’s pretty obvious the Bucs will use what Haynesworth does the rest of this season before making a decision on what they want to do with him next season. If the Bucs part ways with Haynesworth after this season, there will not be any salary-cap implications for 2012.
“I’m just going to ask him to do what I ask him to do and see if he can go out there and do it,’’ Morris said. “If he can’t do it then we have to find someone else who can. If he can do it, then obviously you increase your role when you do a better job for your team.’’