Oakland Raiders 2013 first-round draft pick DJ Hayden is still nursing a foot/ankle injury and will have to be eased into full-time action this preseason, reports CSN Bay Area’s Scott Bair.
Veteran teammate Charles Woodson told Bair that Hayden’s absence from training camp is a “big setback.”
“As I’ve said many times, the most important thing in this game is being out on the field,” Woodson said. “There’s only so much being in the film room and studying plays can do for you. It can only take you so far. You need to be out there.”
The Raiders want Hayden to start at cornerback and emerge as an impact player in his second season.
“Other guys are going to be getting reps,” Woodson said. “If you can’t prove what you can do, how can you ever get back into the lineup?”
“Hopefully it’s not anything that’s going to hold him out the whole camp,” Woodson added. “Hopefully he doesn’t have to worry about being on a (physically unable to perform list) or anything like that. He’s a guy we feel can help us out around here. It has the potential to be a setback. Hopefully it’s not.”