The Packers got a very limited contribution from cornerback Casey Hayward in the 2013 season as a preseason hamstring injury lingered into the season and ultimately led Hayward to injured reserve after he aggravated the injury upon his return.
Hayward said that the extended time off the field taught him the positives of patience when recovering from an injury and that he was able to be a “student of the game” during his stay on IR, but that he feels ready to get back on the field when the Packers report for offseason work in a couple of weeks. He’s been training five days a week, although he said he doesn’t expect to go all out at this point in the process.
“I think I’m ready for it now,” Hayward said, via the Green Bay Press-Gazette. “I’m just here and I don’t have to push it and I probably won’t push it crazy then, but I’m in a good enough shape to finish everything and do everything. I feel like they want me ready for the season and not right now.”
Hayward had six interceptions as a rookie in 2012 playing mostly out of the slot, although he said he feels he can play any corner spot by pointing out that several picks came when he was playing outside. Wherever he lines up, his healthy return would be a welcome one for a team that needs a more effective performance from their defense in 2014.