The Raiders wrapped up contract negotiations with their rookie class in the last couple of days by signing first-round cornerback D.J. Hayden and tackle Menelik Watson, but they will have to wait a little longer to get their top two 2013 draft picks on the practice field.
Steve Corkran of the Bay Area News Group reports that both players have been placed on the non-football injury list and are therefore likely to miss at least the team’s first practice of training camp on Friday. We know that Hayden was hospitalized this spring because he needed surgery to remove scar tissue in his abdomen that was related to the emergency surgery he had after rupturing a vein in his heart after a hit at practice while at the University of Houston last year.
It’s less clear why Watson has wound up on the NFI list. Raiders coach Dennis Allen will meet the media on Friday and could shed some more light as to the reasons why he landed there, but getting on the field sooner rather than later would be a step in the right direction if Watson wants to compete for a starting job this year.
Hayden’s path to the lineup is clearer than Watson’s, but he still needs to get back to speed after missing a lot of time on the field because of the two surgeries.