The Oakland Raiders began their third week of Organized Team Activities today without the services of 2013 first round pick DJ Hayden. Hayden missed last week's sessions with what head coach Dennis Allen called a “rolled ankle”. The injury appears to be more serious than that as Hayden remained in a walking boot and observed the practice from the sidelines. That has brought questions about Hayden's availability in workouts before training camp.
“It’s hard to tell,” Allen said of Hayden being ready before training camp. “Initially I was hopeful of that. Again, we’re day by day with DJ. Hopefully we’ll have him out here, because he needs to work.”
This is another setback to Hayden who has a serious injury history. By now, everyone knows about the heart surgery he had in college. He also missed the second half of his rookie season because of a sports hernia. He missed the offseason workouts last year because of surgery to remove scar tissue as a result of the heart surgery.
The Raiders are counting on Hayden in a big way for 2014. The team is thin at cornerback and they spent a first round pick on him to start and become an impact player. However, those expectations are being delayed because of the persistent injuries. Although, these are only OTA session, Hayden needs to be on the field to develop and learn.
Now, if Hayden can come back healthy for training camp and put in a full workload, this will be less of a issue. The Raiders third session of OTAs runs through June 12th. The team comes back for mandatory mini-camp on June 17-19. Hayden watch will continue then.
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