Top pick Hayden signs deal

Published: Friday, Jul. 26, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 6C
Last Modified: Friday, Jul. 26, 2013 - 10:20 am

NAPA – The Raiders signed first-round pick D.J. Hayden to a contract before the first training camp practice. The team announced the deal with the cornerback Thursday, ensuring that the entire 10-player draft class will be on hand when practice begins today.

It still has not been determined when Hayden will be able to participate in practice after he underwent offseason abdominal surgery. He is officially on the active non-football injury list and can't practice until he passes a team physical.

Hayden's offseason got cut short when he needed surgery in late May to remove scar tissue from the abdominal region. That operation came months after a near-fatal practice injury that ended his college career at Houston early.

Hayden was rushed into surgery last November for a tear of the inferior vena cava, the large vein that carries blood from the lower half of the body to the heart, after a collision in practice. Doctors had to cut through Hayden's sternum to save him.

The injury is 95 percent fatal in the field, according to doctors, and is most commonly associated with high-speed motor vehicle accidents.

The Raiders still selected Hayden 12th overall with their first first-round pick since 2010 after doctors cleared him to resume playing. Hayden made his return to the field at a three-day rookie minicamp in May and also participated in part of the team's first week of organized team activities before being sidelined.

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Read more articles by Josh Dubow



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