Several sources have reported that Raiders CB D.J. Hayden is in a walking boot with an unspecified ankle injury. It was reported that he “rolled” it, but no further elaboration was made. There is concern among some Raider fans, while others not so much. So is this a big deal? There was some chatter on Twitter about it. Lets take a look at both sides of the issue.
On the positive side:
— Offseason_Sux (@EdMarshall97) June 2, 2014
It is only June and there is plenty of time for Hayden’s ankle to heal before training camp and preseason starts. Since the injury was not specified, it could be very minor and the walking boot could just be a precaution (as the above tweet suggests) to keep this from becoming a nagging, season long affair. Raiders head Coach, Dennis Allen has already said that he did not expect it to be serious. So far Hayden has only missed one OTA with this. There has been no reports of how long Hayden is to be sidelined, and if Coach Allen’s statement is any indication, we should see him out only a short time.
Hayden had a very productive off-season and it shows with his bulked up physique. His improved physical condition should allow him to come back from this injury. In the mean time, he is still able to put in the work inside the film room and continue to develop from a mental standpoint.
On the negative side:
— mhzipser1 (@MichaelZipser) June 2, 2014
This tweet makes an interesting observation. Hayden is only in his second season and has already suffered more than his share of injuries. As a matter of fact, he was drafted as an injured player. He missed nearly the entire off-season last year recovering from a secondary surgery to remove scar tissue from his life-saving operation. He was not cleared for contact until late in the preseason. He also wound up on injured reserve and missed the last half of his rookie year with a sports hernia. This could be the start of a trend and if it is, he could be yet another first round draft bust. This is something that the Raiders can ill afford.
GM Reggie McKenzie took a pretty big risk taking Hayden 12th overall last year and this is a risk that he needs to have pay off. He took a lot of criticism for that move. Hayden does have a high level of talent, but he needs all of the time on the field with the coaches, going up against wide receivers that he can get to develop. Missing OTAs does not exactly help with that. There is only so much a player can do it the film room without getting on the field and applying what he has learned.
So whether or not there is cause for concern, this is something that will be continually monitored. The Raiders and their fans remain hopeful that the situation will get resolved quickly and their CB will stay healthy and have a big year.