Oakland Raiders 2013 first-round pick D.J. Hayden has had a very slow start to his career due to injuries, and he didn’t exactly set the world on fire as a rookie when he did see the field in eight appearances. That said, there’s always an adjustment period for rookies, especially for cornerbacks hailing from a smaller program like Houston. The Raiders expected Hayden to be back in time for the start of the season at one point, but this stress fracture is expected to cause him to hit the reserve/PUP list.
For now, Hayden’s status is still cloudy, but the NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reports that the Raiders will find out at some point this week whether or not Hayden will have to hit the reserve/PUP list. Once they get clarity on the status of his injury, we’ll see how much he’s truly progressed and if he’ll need to miss the first six games of the regular season to heal up. Rapoport reports that it “seems headed that way”, so nobody should be holding their breath for him. With a lack of practice time in his second offseason, Hayden could easily be headed for a “lost” second season and would have ground to make up in year three.
Rapoport adds that the Raiders are cool with Hayden hitting the reserve/PUP, because they don’t want him to have any lingering effects before he hits the field; they understand the importance of his long-term health after investing such a high pick in him. I would expect Hayden to hit the reserve/PUP, which means that you can lock up August standout T.J. Carrie on the roster. With Hayden out, we’ll get to see more of the other CBs on the Raiders roster, so that’s potentially something to look for.