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DJ Hayden promising first start of season cut short by another groin injury

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Ezra Shaw

Yesterday's game against the Denver Broncos seems like the story of D.J. Hayden's career. He shows what kind of skills and potential he has but it is short lived as he is soon sidelined with an injury.

It didn't take long in this game for Hayden to put his stamp on things. Peyton Manning dropped back on the second play of the game and tried to fit a ball in over coverage from Sio Moore and the ball sailed over the head of receiver Emmanuel Sanders and into the waiting arms of Hayden.

The interception was the natural next step after Hayden dropped two interceptions last week in his first extensive action as the team's nickel corner. He was promoted to started this week with the injuries to Carlos Rogers and T.J. Carrie and showed the skills that made him the 12 overall pick two years ago.

Unfortunately, it wasn't long before he also soon showed the same injury issues that have caused him to miss half of last season, the entire off-season, all of training camp and pre-season, and land on the PUP list  for the first seven weeks of this season.

Hayden came up injured after a tackle early in the second quarter. He returned to the game initially and played into the third quarter. But after that he was taken out of the game and received treatment on the trainers stable for a groin injury.

The injury is cause for concern, especially for Hayden who has been unable to stay healthy during in his short time with the team. Even more troubling is the fact that it was a groin injury that landed him on injured reserve last season, missing the final eight games of the season.

"We're still getting some information on that right now as we speak," Tony Sparano told Bay Area radio station 95.7 The Game. "But he did leave the game with a groin (injury) yesterday. That's something that we'll have to monitor here moving forward, take a look at it. I should know more here in another hour on that."

If the injury turns out to cause Hayden to miss some time, it would be another blemish on an already injury plagued early NFL career for the former top pick. Thus far he has only played eight full games with three starts out of 25 games played over the past two seasons.

He has appeared in a total of 11 games as a Raider with career totals of 2 interceptions, 7 passes defended, a forced fumble, 2 groin injuries, and 36 combined tackles (31 solo).