Raiders clear D.J. Hayden for contact

AP

It’s been more than a year since Raiders cornerback D.J. Hayden has taken part in a full-contact football practice, but that will change on Sunday.

The Raiders first-round pick has been cleared for contact, giving him the chance to shed the red jersey he’s been wearing as a result of the May surgery to remove scar tissue in his abdomen related to last year’s emergency surgery to repair the torn inferior vena cava in his heart. Raiders coach Dennis Allen said Hayden was “anxious and excited” to get back to a full workload, something he thinks is a good thing even if no one’s certain how things will play out for Hayden.

“Nobody knows how he’s going to respond when that happens,” Allen said, via Scott Bair of CSNBayArea.com. “We’ve had to hold him back at practice, because he wants to do everything. From that standpoint, I think he has a great mindset going into this thing. I think it’ll be great for him to get that first team appearance under his belt.”

If all goes well, Hayden will make his preseason debut against the Bears on Friday and the Raiders will start to get a clearer idea of where their first-round pick is at this point and how much he’ll be able to help them as a rookie.