Raiders 2013 first round pick, D.J. Hayden's rookie season is over. The team officially placed the 12 overall pick on injured reserve today due to a groin injury he suffered in week 8 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles. That groin injury required sports hernia surgery which took place on Monday according to Dennis Allen, thus ending Hayden's season.
At the time of Hayden's injury, head coach Dennis Allen said he didn't know exactly how long Hayden would be out, saying only "It could be a while." Those are not words used lightly and now we see just how severe the injury was.
It's another setback for the Raiders' top pick who hadn't played a snap of football following a life-threatening heart injury midway through his senior season at Houston that required emergency surgery. After he showed he was healthy in front of scouts at the Houston Pro Day prior to the draft, his stock shot up and the Raiders had their sights set on drafting him.
Hayden practiced with the team a couple of days into OTA's before feeling ill and being taken to the hospital where it was deemed he would need surgery to remove scar tissue that had built up from the previous surgery. The recovery time would be long and it had him out the remainder off the off-season program.
He hit the field for training camp but wearing a red non-contact jersey for several weeks before finally seeing action in the team's final preseason game and was ready for the start of the regular season.
Hayden appeared in eight games (two starts) this season and recorded 29 tackles (23 solo), two passes defensed, one interception and one forced fumble. His fourth-quarter interception of a Philip Rivers pass in the end zone on Oct. 6 sealed the Raiders' 27-17 over the Chargers. He had his roughest outing against the Eagles just prior to his injury.
Dennis Allen spoke of his impressions of Hayden's partial rookie season
"Obviously I would say he had his ups and downs," said Allen. "There were sometimes where he played really well and then sometimes where he looked like a rookie out there. But I think for where he's at, for the things that he's had to go through, I was pleased with his progress and now he's gotta go through another rehab process and begin to start getting ready for next year. It'll be a great thing for him to have a full off-season where he can work out, get himself in shape, get bigger, get stronger, and get ready for next year."
In a corresponding move, the Raiders re-signed defensive end Brian Sanford.