Cornerback DJ Hayden missed most of the Raiders offseason program with what sources confirm is a foot injury. Now there’s concern he won’t be fully ready by the start of training camp on Friday.
According to 95.7-FM host John Middlekauff, Hayden is not completely healthy and will be eased into full-time work. He could start the preseason on the physically unable to perform list (PUP), a designation that could be removed at any point when he’s ready to practice. Adding him to the PUP list would free up a roster spot.
The extent of Hayden’s injury was never revealed. Head coach Dennis Allen said he “rolled an ankle” and did not elaborate. He was in a walking boot throughout the offseason
The time out is a real setback for Hayden, who was placed on injured reserve after eight games with a groin injury. He recovered well from surgery to repair a sports hernia, and used the downtime to get stronger. He put on 5-10 pounds of muscle and expressed a renewed confidence in his health and playing potential after a rookie season with injury struggles.
That was after one OTA session. The next time Raiders practice was open to the press, Hayden was in a walking boot. The missed time between then and now has certainly lessened his physical fitness, a concern heading into a vital training camp for his progress.
He missed the 2013 offseason program recovering from surgery to remove scar tissue, a complication of heart surgery from November of the previous year. He was eased into his rookie camp as well, and sported a red non-contact jersey in the early portions of camp.
The Raiders report to camp on Wednesday and practice for the first time on Friday.