The Redskins do not expect to immediately fill the opening on their 53-man roster created by the suspension of disgruntled defensive lineman Albert Haynesworth.
The team apparently plans to keep the spot open unless a need arises or a player of interest unexpectedly becomes available.
Meanwhile, the NFL Players Association is moving forward with plans to support Haynesworth, a two-time all-pro, in the appeals process.
Haynesworth's camp is expected to seek an expedited appeal, which would be heard within seven days after a request is filed. Under the terms of the collective bargaining agreement, suspended players have the right to an expedited appeal, according to two people familiar with the CBA's language on this subject.
Although the CBA provides teams with latitude to suspend players for a maximum of four games, there's no guarantee Haynesworth's suspension won't be overturned in arbitration.
The Redskins did not reveal their full list of grievances against Haynesworth, but it could be difficult for them to prove some claims. One of those, for example, was Coach Mike Shanahan's statement that Haynesworth "consistently indicated to our defensive coaches that he refuses to play in our base defense."
Haynesworth, however, prepared to line up at nose tackle in the "Okie," or base 3-4 alignment, before the embarrassing Week 13 loss to the New York Giants, according to two people familiar with the coaching staff's intentions. The result of the appeal may hinge on whether the Redskins have recordings of Haynesworth's refusals or have documented them in some other way.
Moreover, Redskins coaches said they decided to play Haynesworth primarily in the nickel packages to most benefit the team. He struggled in the Okie but was effective rushing the passer, so coaches figured playing him in the nickel made the most sense. Haynesworth may contend that the decision on how to deploy him was made by the coaches.
The Redskins, according to Haynesworth's agent, never informed Haynesworth, officially or otherwise, that he was in danger of facing severe disciplinary action this season.