The Oakland Raiders are "relatively optimistic" that rookie cornerback D.J. Hayden will be ready for the start of training camp, according to Len Pasquarelli of the National Football Post. Hayden suffered an abdominal injury at the end of May that has so far kept him sidelined.
Hayden was hospitalized when he suffered the injury, perhaps out of precaution. At the time, it was unclear whether it was related to a life-threatening heart injury he suffered in college. Hayden tore a heart cavity last year at Houston after running into a teammate during a passing drill. Many questioned whether Hayden would be able to play in the NFL after the freak accident, despite his obvious talent.
The Raiders took a chance on Hayden with the No. 12 overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft. Assuming he is fully healthy, Hayden is expected to start this season on the opposite side of the field from Mike Jenkins. The Raiders' secondary was one of the worst in the NFL last season, giving up 236 yards per game and a total of 28 passing touchdowns to just 11 interceptions.