Will D.J. Hayden be ready for the start of the season?
D.J. Hayden is still recovering from a May surgery to remove scar tissue from his abdominal region. (AP)
Raiders rookies D.J. Hayden and Menelik Watson were placed on the active/non-football injury list on Thursday and likely won't participate in the first practice of training camp on Friday morning.
Neither player can practice until they pass a team-administered physical.
Hayden, a cornerback drafted No. 12 overall, remains out recovering from a May 28 surgery that removed scar tissue from his abdominal region. Watson, drafted No. 42 overall, has an injury that has not been disclosed.
The team has filed paperwork with the league for these transactions. Watson signed his rookie contract on Wednesday and Hayden signed late Thursday morning.
There is no timetable for either to practice. By remaining on the active roster, they count towards the Raiders’ 90-man training-camp roster limit. The Raiders currently have 87 players on the roster.
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The critical part of this designation is that neither were injured while representing an NFL team in a game or on a practice field. They weren’t eligible for the physically unable to perform list, which is reserved for football-related injuries.
The Raiders held administrative meetings and held physicals and conditioning tests on Thursday. It’s unclear whether the rookies have not taken a physical or failed one. Hayden and Watson could theoretically pass in the morning and participate in Friday’s practice, although that’s considered highly unlikely.
Missing any portion of training is difficult for an NFL rookie. That problem is compounded in Hayden’s case, because he missed most of the offseason program – a crash course in the Raiders scheme – following abdominal surgery.