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New England Preseason 2011: Albert Haynesworth Returns To Practice

For the first time since August 4, defensive lineman Albert Haynesworth joined the Patriots in practicing Tuesday.

It's not clear what has kept Haynesworth off the field for the past couple of weeks, with Bill Belichick only going so far as to call him "day-to-day" during his absence.

Haynesworth wore full-pads Tuesday, three days after attending but not participating in a Saturday walkthrough. With Bill Belichick suggesting that Haynesworth could play in the Patriots' upcoming preseason game in Detroit, this is an important first step towards getting ready to make the impact fans are hoping for from the former pro-bowler. This return to practice comes--perhaps coincidentally--just one day after Haynesworth pleaded no contest to a simple assault charge in Washington D.C.

Also making his return to action was Danny Woodhead, who took a bad shot to the head in the preseason game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Given the severity of the hit and Woodhead's response, it would not have been surprising to hear he was down long-term with a concussion, so seeing him back so soon is a very good sign.