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Jack Del Rio praises DJ Hayden, calls injury "little tweak... nothing major"

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Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

DJ Hayden pulled up lame during Wednesday's minicamp practice that caused him to sit out Thursday. Initially it was an eye roll inducing "here we go again" situation for Hayden who has struggled with injuries and inconsistency over his NFL career. This offseason he's been working with the second team and splitting reps with TJ Carrie in the slot.

Head coach Jack Del Rio has seen some promise from Hayden heading into his final season with the team and doesn't think the injury is serious enough to set him back.

"Really DJ Hayden had a good spring," said Del Rio. "He really did. He got a little tweak yesterday, but nothing major. He's gonna be fine in a short time. He had a good spring, so I'm excited about his development.

"I saw a point earlier in the offseason where Sean [Smith] was being questioned about the other DB's and I think he said you have a chance to redefine yourself and I really believe that. As a player it's never too late. You can redefine yourself, kind of turn the corner and peel labels off that maybe people have for you and create your own. I feel like he's on his way to doing that this year."

The injury was in a non-contact situation, and Hayden limped off under his own power, which is encouraging. He was on the field Thursday, but relegated to the sideline as a spectator. Shortly after practice started, he headed to the training room.

If Del Rio's assessment of the injury is accurate, Hayden should have no issue being ready when the team heads into camp in six weeks on July 28.