May 20, 2013; Alameda, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders cornerback D.J. Hayden (25) at organized team activities at the Raiders practice facility. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
It’s official, D.J. Hayden is being placed on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list by the Oakland Raiders. Monday, Head Coach Dennis Allen mentioned that Hayden had been out on the sidelines of the field working out. All indications from Allen were positive, and the team thought they might wait until Saturday to find out Hayden’s status. However, now we know that is not the case.
With Hayden on the PUP list, he will be unable to play in any games until week 6 of the regular season. Though, this move definitely opens up the opportunity for T.J. Carrie, Keith McGill, Neiko Thorpe, and Chimdi Chekwa to get some serious playing time. With Tarell Brown’s struggles, the possibility of one of these younger DB’s replacing him is an easy decision in my mind.
Carlos Rogers is a very good veteran to keep around to keep the younger DB’s on point, and he plays very well as a Nickel CB. Brown is on a 1-year contract, and there’s a real possibility he could be let go if he doesn’t improve his play.
Unfortunately, this means Hayden must face yet another injury plagued season. This is only his second season, and his NFL career hasn’t started off very well. Although, the Raiders knew Hayden would struggle to get back in the saddle after the gruesome and life threatening injury he sustained in November of 2012. However, they were hoping he would bounce back quicker than he has. This marks the fourth player who has dealt with serious foot injuries in the past 5-years for the Raiders; RB- Darren McFadden, WR- Jacoby Ford, WR- Denarius Moore, and now Hayden.
Let’s hope that when Hayden does return in October he is ready, and let’s all hope that he can put all the injuries behind him. By then, Carrie, McGill, Chekwa, and Thorpe, will be ready to accept him back into what may prove to be one of the better secondary’s in the NFL.