D.J. Hayden and T.J. Carrie Step Up in Sean Smith’s Absence
Early in the first quarter, Raiders outside cornerback Sean Smith went down with a shoulder injury that would keep him from returning to the field for the duration of the game, leaving nickel corner D.J. Hayden and backup T.J. Carrie to pick up the slack.
The two corners did just that.
Hayden accumulated four combined tackles and two pass deflections, one of which coming on a deep, arcing throw to Evans down the field late in the fourth quarter.
Though he did give up some big plays, including an early touchdown to Buccaneers wide receiver Russell Shepard, Hayden kept a level head and rebounded to finish the game on a positive note.
Hayden earned the fifth highest defensive grade on the team (76.6), per PFF.com.
Carrie, who has seen few defensive snaps this season, finished just above Hayden with Raiders’ fourth best defensive grade (81.4) after being thrown into the action on short notice.
Going up against Cecil Shorts III for a majority of the contest, Carrie held the veteran receiver to zero receptions and added two tackles and one pass deflection to his stat line.
Carrie did fall victim to Tampa Bay’s receiver Adam Humphries late in the third quarter, as he let Humphries turn a shallow catch into a 42-yard gain because of unacceptable missed tackle.
Both corners earned their respective lumps in coverage, as both Carrie and Hayden’s name likely came after an expletive from Raiders fans after some bad plays on Sunday.
However, the two young corners got back up off the mat, and that made all the difference.