Well, the Washington Redskins (5-7) won’t have Albert Haynesworth to kick-around, not after they went to the extraordinary measure of suspending the disgruntled and highly-paid defensive lineman for the balance of the season without pay, the maximum allowed by the NFLPA collective bargaining agreement.
Haynesworth’s play on the field was hardly consequential. He made all of 16 tackles and had just 2.5 sacks, while complaining about his position (he didn’t want to play nose tackle) and being one big thorn in the side of new head coach Mike Shanahan. The absence of Haynesworth won’t impact the Redskins on the field but it could have a huge impact on the team’s morale entering into their home game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (7-5).
Tampa’s playoff chances took a severe beating as they narrowly lost to the Atlanta Falcons 28-24 at home. That loss makes this weekend’s contest a “must-win” for the young Bucs. Tampa has been fading, losing the past two games to playoff contenders, but Josh Freeman is having a solid year at quarterback (16 touchdowns, 6 INTs) and LaGarrette Blount is making an impact at running back. On defense, the Bucs have been giving-up too many touchdown passes (19) and not enough sacks (18). However, they are +10 in the all-important turnover ratio and have been shown resiliency all season, suffering only their current two-game losing streak.
Have the Bucs hit the wall? The Bucs are favored by -3 but Tampa could be facing a renewed Redskins bunch and some nasty weather in the DC metro area.
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