Yesterday the Oakland Raiders top two draft picks D.J. Hayden and Menelik Watson were both placed on the Non Football Injury list (NFI) heading into Oakland’s 2013 Training Camp in Napa. On the opening morning of practices, D.J. Hayden was cleared to play, but the Raiders weren’t so lucky with Watson who wasn’t cleared and will continue to wait to heal up.
The reason for Menelik’s designation onto the NFI has not yet been revealed but whatever reason it is has kept the 2nd round pick from practicing on the first day of training camp practices. He is on the sidelines on a stationary bike. We will most likely hear from Dennis Allen on Watson’s status later this afternoon.
D.J. is on the field, but is still donning the red “no contact” jersey as a probationary measure as he continues to rehab from injury. Despite not being able to participate in any contact yet it is still a great sign that he is out on the field taking the reps that he needs to get ready for the season, especially on an easy day like the first day of training camp.
It is a bit surprising to see Hayden be the one of the two able to be on the practice field between him and Watson because Hayden’s injury history was life threatening. He missed the majority of mini-camp due to scar tissue removal surgery but it appears to have gone well enough to at least allow the promising cornerback talent back onto the field to prepare for hopefully what is full contact at some point during the preseason
As for Watson, he is trying to battle for the starting spot at right tackle. Missing reps at the start of camp is not going to help him get ready to play on Week One in Indy. Hopefully Watson can participate as soon as possible.