When a player who signed for $41 million in guaranteed money earlier in the year is sitting out practices and talking about normal "wear and tear" during the first week of August, well, it's not the kind of thing that will help comparisons to Reggie White. But Albert Haynesworth returned to practice earlier this week after sitting out a few rounds of training camp, averting the kind of health-care crisis that would capture D.C.'s attention more than anything on Capitol Hill.
Aside from Clinton Portis, Haynesworth is the player SportsNation feels the Redskins could least afford to lose to serious injury, no small feat of public recognition for a guy who plays on the defensive line. But if Haynesworth is the Redskins' best defensive player, is he the league's best defensive player? He's not a pure pass-rushing force like DeMarcus Ware, or a shut-down corner like Nnamdi Asomugha, but it's tough to put a guy who closes down the middle of the line anywhere other than No. 1.