Yesterday marked the third straight day D.J. Hayden donned a red “No Contact” jersey at Raiders Training Camp as the team employed a cautious approach to easing Hayden into action after his near death experience during a collision with a University of Houston teammate during a practice last season.
After undergoing offseason surgery to remove scar tissue stemming from thew rupturing of his vena cava, Hayden wasn’t cleared for the contact at the start of camp even after he signed a contract with offset language taking the Raiders off the hook for his rookie contract if he can’t make the Raiders roster due to his injuries.
When the Raiders put on the pads on Sunday Hayden was still not cleared to take off the jersey, much to the chagrin of Hayden himself who is hungry to get back to contact. Hayden was caught trying to sneak his way into a contact drill on Sunday before he was playfully directed away from the drill as the Raider coaches remained stern about keeping their first round pick safe and sound.
It appeared that it turned out that Hayden would only have to wait one sleep before he could get rid of the red jersey that is usually reserved for kickers and quarterbacks as it was reported early on during Raiders Monday practice in Napa that Hayden was wearing a standard black practice jersey, signaling that everything is now a go for Hayden after a lengthy rehab process.
#raiders cornerback DJ Hayden is in a normal black jersey. No more red no contact jersey
— Chris McClain (@ChrisMcClain) July 29, 2013
Except the Raiders were pulling a fast one as Hayden put the red jersey back on to start the practice, meaning that he will be continuing to be eased in to contact.
Sio Moore back on field … D.J. Hayden came out in black jersey the pulled on red jersey for padded practice … No Ford yet
— Jerry McDonald (@Jerrymcd) July 29, 2013
With Dennis Allen remaining secretive we have no clue when Hayden is scheduled to start participating in contact drills at training camp or if he will be ready for the Raiders first preseason game against Dallas. A temporary glimpse of Hayden without a “No Contact” jersey was enough to send Raider Nation into a brief frenzy, there is no doubt when Hayden is officially cleared that there will be even more excitement.