EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — Albert Haynesworth is moving up the depth chart and maybe even smoothing things over with Mike Shanahan.
The Washington Redskins’ big defensive lineman played extensively with the starters after entering in the first quarter of the 16-11 victory over the New York Jets on Friday night.
“I felt good,” Haynesworth said. “But, I’ve still got a lot of work to do.”
Haynesworth, who missed numerous practices because of a failed conditioning test, a sore knee and then an illness, said last week that Shanahan underplayed his medical condition.
Reports said Haynesworth was suffering from a muscle condition called rhabdomyolysis, but Shanahan told AOL Fanhouse last Sunday he was “not aware of that.” Shanahan had given various reasons for Haynesworth’s inability to practice, eventually attributing it to a headache.
The two spoke on Monday, and Haynesworth said they talked some more during the game “because I saved his life from getting hit in the head with a ball.”
Shanahan said he wanted get Haynesworth about 30 plays.
“I’m going over for dinner to his house, probably tonight,” Haynesworth said. “We’ll sit, have a cigar and talk. What I said last week is behind me. I don’t even remember what I said.”
Haynesworth also complained last week about being out with the backups in the third quarter of Washington’s 23-3 loss to Baltimore. He was on the field with the starters in the first half, moving around the line, playing mostly right defensive end.
“That’s what they wanted to do this week, so I practiced a lot at end to get a feel for it,” said Haynesworth, who finished with one tackle.
The Jets have a lot of work to do after scoring only their second in three preseason games. Far from the explosive offense many of the Jets predict they’ll be, New York struggled until Mark Sanchez connected with Dustin Keller for a 10-yard touchdown early in the fourth quarter.
“We’re not overwhelmingly pleased,” Sanchez said, “but at the same time, I’m glad we got the chance in the second half to put together a nice little drive, play into the fourth quarter and score.”
New running back LaDainian Tomlinson downplayed the Jets’ offensive woes.
“I think one thing people need to understand is we’ve been very vanilla this preseason,” said Tomlinson, who had 86 yards on 11 carries. “We won’t really gameplan until the season starts, so we’re doing fine.”
Larry Johnson, competing with Clinton Portis and Willie Parker for a spot in the backfield for the Redskins (2-1), caught a screen pass from Richard Bartel and rumbled 15 yards for the winning score with 2:13 left.
Looking to rebound from a poor performance against Carolina last weekend, the Jets (1-2) were hurt by four turnovers and missed opportunities.
“You’re not going to win too many games, if any games, if you turn the ball over four times,” Jets coach Rex Ryan said. “That was the critical stat that jumps out.”
Ryan could hardly be confident in his offense after another preseason clunker. Sanchez finished 13 of 21 for 139 yards and an interception in just over three quarters for the Jets.
Rex Grossman started for the injured Donovan McNabb for Washington, and went 8 of 16 for 111 yards. Without McNabb, who missed the game with a sprained left ankle, the Redskins’ first-team offense couldn’t do much against the Jets’ starters on defense, but Washington still led in the fourth quarter.
Saints 36, Chargers 21
NEW ORLEANS — Undrafted rookie Chris Ivory turned a swing pass into a tackle-breaking, zigzagging, 76-yard score in New Orleans’ preseason victory.
Ivory’s 45 yards rushing and 76 yards receiving were the most of any player in the game. Drew Brees set the tone for New Orleans (2-1) with 240 yards passing, including touchdowns to Devery Henderson and Robert Meachem.
Philip Rivers led two touchdown drives for San Diego (1-2).
Falcons 16, Dolphins 6
MIAMI — Atlanta gave up only a field goal while Miami starting quarterback Chad Henne was in the game and beat the Dolphins.
Middle linebacker Curtis Lofton led the Falcons’ defensive charge with 11 tackles, two for losses. Erik Coleman intercepted a pass in the end zone, and the Dolphins (2-1) converted only one of eight third-down situations with Henne, who played one series into the third quarter.
Lawrence Sidbury had a sack, two quarterback hits and a tackle for a loss for the Falcons (2-1).