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News & Notes: Amid Rumors, Haynesworth Practices

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Head coach Mike Shanahan said on Wednesday that defensive lineman Albert Haynesworth "will be with our team" for Sunday's season opener against Dallas.

The question came up after reports surfaced this week suggesting that the Redskins are trying to trade Haynesworth.

Shanahan would not address those reports when asked about it after Wednesday's practice.

"We've heard all of these rumors and speculation, if you want to talk about Dallas, we'll talk about Dallas," he said. "Albert had a great practice [on Wednesday]. He'll be ready to go this weekend, and I think we'll leave it at that."

Asked if he expected Haynesworth to play Sunday for the Redskins, Shanahan replied: "We can go through our whole team. Like I told you before, I'm not going to tell you who is starting at wide receiver, who is going to dress. That's competitive advantage."

Pressed further, Shanahan said: "Albert will be with our team on Sunday, yes."

Later, Shanahan was asked how he kept rumors and speculation from distracting Haynesworth's preparation for Dallas.

"All I have to do is, I get a chance to talk to players," he said. "I have a chance to control what goes on in the locker room. So as long as I'm fine with him and he's fine with me – you might not think we ever communicate, but we do sometimes."

During Redskins open locker room earlier on Wednesday, quarterback Donovan McNabb expressed support for Haynesworth.

"Albert is one of our brothers in the locker room," McNabb said. "Albert is still in there. He's practicing with us. Albert's going to play. He's going to be a guy we're all cheering for to get to the quarterback."

Linebacker Brian Orakpo suggested on Wednesday that the team is weary of the seemingly constant questions surrounding Haynesworth.

"We're tired of talking about it," Orakpo said. "We just want to move on."


-- HALL SCOUTS THE COWBOYS

DeAngelo Hall is expected to match up against Cowboys wide receiver Miles Austin on Sunday.

Austin had a breakout season last year, catching 81 passes for 1,320 yards and 11 touchdowns. In two games against Washington, he grabbed 13 catches for 139 yards.

"He can definitely play football," Hall said. "I don't think he's a one-hit wonder. The guy can catch balls, he runs great routes, and he's a guy who's a worker. He's working every single play. As defensive backs, we can get a little lazy at times and Miles is a guy who is never going to stop."

Hall admitted he's looking forward to matching up against Cowboys rookie Dez Bryant, the highly touted first-round draft choice out of Oklahoma State.

"I followed him a little bit in college," Hall said. ""I'm a fan. I can't wait to see what he brings to that offense. If he brings the same thing he brought in college, then he'll make a lot of plays. He's an explosive guy."


-- STRENGTH OF SCHEDULE

The Redskins have the NFL's eighth toughest schedule in 2010, according to the NFL.

The Redskins' opponents this season produced a 134-122 record last year, a .523 winning percentage.

The Houston Texans (.547), Tennessee Titans (.547), Dallas Cowboys (.543), Cincinnati Bengals (.539), Jacksonville Jaguars (.535), New England Patriots (.531) and New York Giants (.527) have tougher schedules.

The Redskins play 11 games against teams who finished .500 or better last year. They play seven games against 2009 playoff opponents.

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