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NAPA – The most productive portion of Sunday’s practice didn’t happen during drills. It occurred on a side field just before.
Cornerback DJ Hayden was running. The second-year pro has missed all of training camp and most of the offseason program due to a stress fracture in his right foot that had to be surgically repaired, and hasn’t been seen doing that type of activity since before the injury.
Hayden has been out of a walking boot for at least a week, but Sunday marked the first time he has done significant side work in a session open to the press.
It was an encouraging sign, but it doesn’t offer a clearer picture of when Hayden might return.
“As far as a timeline, I still don’t think I could give you an accurate one,” head coach Dennis Allen said. “I do think it’s encouraging that he was out here and was able to do some things on the field. Hopefully the recovery process can begin to speed up, but a lot of that is going to depend on how he responds after a day’s work.”
There is concern that, once Hayden is back healthy, he’ll need some time to get back into football shape. The Raiders hope he’ll be ready to start the regular season, but that is far from a given with several mountains left to climb.
“We have to monitor his progress and his rehab,” Allen said, “and we’ll figure out where to go and how fast he can progress once we get to that stage.”
Some other notes from Raiders camp:
-- Kaluka Maiava returned to practice after more than two weeks. He strained his hamstring on the first training camp practice.
-- Weakside linebacker Sio Moore was running with the first team over Miles Burris, who has occupied that spot since the offseason program. Moore had a strong showing in Friday’s loss to Minnesota and has practiced better of late.
-- Receiver James Jones had the catch of the day. He hauled in a pass from Derek Carr with over-the-shoulder grab on a deep route.
[RELATED: Raiders plan to keep Carr with second team]
-- Cornerback Jansen Watson has left the team voluntarily. A team spokesman said he will contemplate his future in the game.
-- Rookie cornerback Keith McGill returned to practice – he did not play in Friday’s game – and saw time with the first team for the first time this camp.
Returned to practice: CB Keith McGill (groin), LB Kaluka Maiava (hamstring)
Did not practice: DE Justin Ellis (concussion), G Lamar Mady (ankle), TE David Ausberry (knee), CB Nieko Thorpe (undisclosed)
Physically unable to perform: DJ Hayden (foot), G Lucas Nix (knee), S Usama Young (quad)