The Oakland Raiders started their training camp off with some significant moves. The team released linebacker Kevin Burnett and placed 2013 first-round pick DJ Hayden on the physically unable to perform list.
The Raiders' players reported to training camp and went through meetings and physicals today. From those physicals, the team announced some injuries, the most significant being Hayden. He has a stress fracture in his foot, which required surgery and is estimated to keep him out four to eight weeks. Hayden was in a walking boot for most of organized team activities and mini-camp with what was thought to be an ankle injury. Further tests determined he has a stress fracture.
“He really wasn’t getting better like we thought that he would,” head coach Dennis Allen said of Hayden. “We did another MRI at the end of mini-camp which revealed a stress fracture in his foot that he had to go and have fixed. He’s not going to be ready. I haven’t seen him today. He was out of the boot yesterday. Whether he’s in the boot or out of the boot today, I don’t know. I wish I had a time frame for when he was going to be back.”
The hope is to have Hayden back before the all-important third preseason game, but that remains to be seen. Allen alluded to the fact that Hayden is missing important reps. He is a player the Raiders are counting on for the 2014 season and needs that development.
“It’s disappointing, both for him and for me, because he’s a guy who we’re counting on being able to step up and help us this year, and he’s a young player and he needs reps,” Allen said. “The good news is, the kid’s been working extremely hard to try to get himself back and get himself out there and ready to go, but he will not be ready for the start of camp.”
The team also released linebacker Kevin Burnett, who started 16 games last season. Burnett was second on the team in tackle in 2013 and recorded a team-high 13 tackles for loss. With Burnett no longer with the team, the Raiders are counting on Sio Moore, Miles Burris, and Kaluka Maiava to compete for the starting weak-side linebacker role. The Raiders already began moving those guys around in the offseason workouts to begin the acclimation process.
“We’re going to release Kevin Burnett,” Allen said. “He was not cleared for participation and I think with where we’re at, at the linebacker position, with some young talented players, Miles Burris and Sio Moore, Kaluka Maiava, I think we feel good with that position, and we’re going to move on from Kevin Burnett.”
The Raiders will hold their first training camp practice tomorrow.
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