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D.J. Hayden: It felt great to be back out there

D.J. Hayden AP

By now, the remarkable story of Raiders cornerback D.J. Hayden’s recovery from the ruptured inferior vena cava in his heart, an injury that’s fatal 95 percent of the time, that he suffered on an otherwise unmemorable play in practice last year at the University of Houston is well known.

What’s unknown is how Hayden will develop at the professional level. That development started this weekend at Oakland’s rookie minicamp, Hayden’s first chance to be back on the field practicing since his injury last year. Hayden said that it “felt great just to get back out there” and that he has no lingering effects from the injury to his heart.

“I don’t even think about it,” Hayden said, via Steve Corkran of the Bay Area News Group. “The only time I think about is when somebody asks me. But when I’m on the field, I don’t think about that. I think about the play and about the coverage that I’m in. I put it past me.”

Hayden was also dealing with the aftereffects of a hamstring strain he picked up while training before the draft, but played well enough to earn some praise from coach Dennis Allen at the conclusion of Saturday’s practice. With their defense in the midst of an almost total overhaul, the Raiders hope that’s just the start of the positive returns they’ll see from Hayden.

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10 Responses to “D.J. Hayden: It felt great to be back out there”
  1. racerx1225 says: May 12, 2013 11:32 AM

    At his age and in his condition of strength and health, healing powers are miraculous.

  2. packerman1968 says: May 12, 2013 11:47 AM

    Not a Raider’s fan, but I hope this guy has a good career.

  3. onderin says: May 12, 2013 11:58 AM

    I never understood why scouts were saying he’s such an injury risk. The injury he had was a rare, freak accident, that was almost as unlikely to happen as his percentage to live through it. Plus he was cleared by all 32 teams.

    I think the only thing he has to prove is that he’s mentally ready to handle the game and have the will to throw his body around to tackle. But if you almost die on the field and you’re still not deterred from playing Football, then I guess you’re a pretty tough-minded kid.

  4. 90210g says: May 12, 2013 1:13 PM

    He will turn out to be a good player.

  5. tomandrews22 says: May 12, 2013 2:38 PM

    This guy is what dedication is all about. I hope he has a long career in the NFL and as a Raider. RAIDER NATION

  6. raiderinvader says: May 12, 2013 3:04 PM

    Dee milliner is more of an injury risk then Hayden.really like him pure corner with speed and coverage skills.I think we will look back at this pick and say this was the best first round pick we’ve made in 15 yrs.

  7. csdaddy7777 says: May 12, 2013 3:35 PM

    OMG Please work out. I love this kids story but I mean damn we need some hope in Raider Nation.

  8. lostking1 says: May 12, 2013 6:03 PM

    I went back and compared the last draft picks of Green Bay and oakland raiders! I got sick to my stomach looking over the picks in 2010 and further! Almost every pick the raiders made are not even on the team. Looking at Green Bay the top picks are still performing a role on the team! This makes me confident that Reggie knows what he is doing in regards to DJH , sio, Wilson and the other picks! My favorite though has to be bass! He is very impressive; he seems smart , humble, and at the same time very confident.

  9. vfan76 says: May 12, 2013 6:11 PM

    I feel sorry for this kid. His reputation is now ruined for being a Raider.

  10. slickster35 says: May 13, 2013 10:05 AM

    The pre-season super bowl champs draft a pre-season HOFer.

    Imagine that!

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