Albert Haynesworth joins Pats' practice

Updated: July 31, 2011, 8:47 PM ET
By Mike Reiss | ESPNBoston.com

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Albert Haynesworth practiced with his New England Patriots teammates on Sunday.

The defensive lineman passed his conditioning test Sunday morning, clearing the way for him to join practice, a source told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter.

Haynesworth, who wore No. 92 during the team's morning walkthrough at the team's training facility at Gillette Stadium, stole the show.

Upon arriving on the practice fields, Haynesworth was greeted with and acknowledged cheers from the capacity crowd. During the first 11-on-11 work of the session, Haynesworth lined up along Vince Wilfork on the inside of a four-man line and wowed the crowd by mauling through guard Rich Ohrnberger and center Ryan Wendell to crash the backfield.

However, Haynesworth had little if any participation in the remaining drills of practice, and was seen doing stretching work with the team's training staff instead of running end-of-practice sprints. While clearly a dominating force when in action, Haynesworth's health is something that bears watching.

[+] EnlargeAlbert Haynesworth
AP Photo/Michael DwyerAlbert Haynesworth walks off the field after his first practice with the Patriots on Sunday.

The Patriots officially announced the acquisition of Haynesworth on Friday, and when Haynesworth didn't practice Saturday, it prompted speculation that he didn't pass the team's conditioning test. Haynesworth, of course, had famously repeatedly failed conditioning tests during his rocky tenure with the Washington Redskins.

That speculation was fueled in part by coach Bill Belichick's non-answer to a question about the defensive lineman. Asked if Haynesworth had passed his conditioning test, Belichick said, "There are things we still need to do with Albert for him to be able to get on the practice field, and when those things are done, he'll be out there."

How Haynesworth fits into the Patriots' defense will be a top story line in training camp.

"With any player, you're trying to identify their strengths and their weaknesses, what they do well. The reality is that any player we bring into this program, they're going to define what their role is going to be with their performance and what they do on the field," Patriots director of player development Nick Caserio said Sunday. "The more they can do, and they can execute those assignments and techniques, then they'll be put in that position.

"Albert has been a good football player in this league. He's big, he's strong, he's athletic, he's a disruptive player. I think we've all taken the approach that if the guy is a good football player, we'll find a way to use him, and in the end it's up to the player to determine what his role is going to be moving forward."

Mike Reiss covers the Patriots for ESPNBoston.com. Information from ESPNBoston.com's Mike Rodak was used in this report.

Mike Reiss

ESPN New England Patriots reporter

SPONSORED HEADLINES

EDITORS' PICKS

  • The Hurt Lingers
    One year later, the healing still doesn't come easy for some.
  • Coming Up Short
    The Red Sox lost on a Xander Bogaerts error in the ninth, falling to 5-9.
  • Tight Squeeze
    Things don't figure to be easy for the Bruins against the Red Wings.
  • Running Strong
    Tales of perseverance remind us that Boston still is running strong.
  • What's The Plan?
    Mailbaggers know Bill Belichick's draft history, so they're ready for anything.

ALSO SEE

MORE NFL HEADLINES