Oakland Raiders: Don’t Panic on D.J. Hayden

The Oakland Raiders traded down from No. 3 to No. 12 overall to select cornerback D.J. Hayden in the 2013 NFL draft, but to this point they haven’t gotten much out of him.

Hayden missed eight games in 2013 with a sports hernia and missed far more practice time due to various other injuries.

Now, Hayden will miss more time with a stress fracture in his foot, according to Vic Tafur of the San Francisco Chronicle. He had surgery four weeks ago, and the timetable given for his return was four to eight weeks.

It’s the fourth injury in just over a year that has caused Hayden to miss time and his third surgery, but it’s still too early to hit the panic button. The number of injuries Hayden has sustained is nothing more than alarming at this point.

Even if the Raiders had the depth or there were quality veterans available to take Hayden’s place, there’s no reason to write off Hayden as a zero. The Raiders can still treat Hayden as an asset, just one they will have to manage and hold for a while before reaping the rewards.


Volume vs. Severity

One thing that needs to be noted about Hayden’s injury is that the timetable for his return was four to eight weeks from four weeks ago. That means Hayden could be close to returning…or miss all of training camp.

The sheer number of injuries Hayden has sustained over such a short period can lead people to believe falsely that it will take him toward the longer end of the timetable to get back on the field. The truth is, we don’t know.

Hayden hasn’t proved to be a slow healer, so there’s really no reason to assume eight weeks. Hayden might be able to ease back into things soon.

“We’ll see what happens the next couple of days and see how he responds (to tests) and what the doctors say,” Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie said,...

About the Author