The first news of training camp has become old news in Oakland: cornerback DJ Hayden is not ready to play.
Hayden, a first-round draft pick out of Houston in the 2013 draft, has battled physical issues since he was the 12th overall selection despite coming off major trauma surgery to repair a torn blood vessel leading to his heart following a practice collision.
Although ostensibly recovered from that life-threatening issue as well as a subsequent surgery to remove scar tissue that cost him his rookie training camp, the newest problem is a stress fracture in his right foot that required surgery. It left Hayden on the physically unable to perform list as camp opened at the Napa Valley Marriott.
"I wish I had a time frame, I really don't know what it's going to be," Allen said. "It's disappointing for him and for me because he's a guy we were counting on being able to step up and help us this year and he's a young player and he needs the reps."
Hayden rolled his ankle during the first organized team activity then spent the remainder of the offseason in a protective boot. According to Allen, an initial MRI revealed no damage. When Hayden continued to feel pain, a second MRI revealed the stress fracture.
Allen said a surgical procedure was performed at the end of the mandatory camp, which concluded June 19. He said there was no way to know how Hayden would respond, indicating recovery could take as long as eight weeks -- meaning he could conceivably miss the first three weeks of training camp and the entirety of the club's time in Napa.
Before the foot injury, Allen said Hayden was "light years" ahead of where he was at this point last year and the cornerback was enthused about being back on the field.
The hope was Hayden would get in plenty of practice reps and step in as a starting corner alongside free-agent acquisition Tarell Brown, with Carlos Rogers, another former San Francisco 49er, playing nickel corner.
With Hayden out, Rogers will play outside but slide inside in the nickel and give way to veteran Chimdi Chekwa and TJ Carrie, a rookie sixth-round pick out of Ohio who had an impressive offseason.
"He's a young player, and these young guys, they need the reps, they need the work," Allen said of Hayden "Is it a setback? Yeah, it's a setback. Is it something that's going to keep him from being able to contribute this year? I certainly hope not. That be determined by how fast he's able to recover."
After the surgery to remove scar tissue last year, Hayden missed additional time with a hamstring strain. He played in eight games before leaving to have sports hernia surgery.
As for Hayden's state of mind, Allen said, "I think he's frustrated, but I don't think he's in any state of despair or anything like that. I think he understands he's got another challenge he's got to try to overcome and the road that he has ahead of him and he's been working to try and get back. The kid wants to out there. He wants to play."
Veteran free safety Charles Woodson feels missing time will slow Hayden's growth process.
"The way you get better is out there on the field," Woodson said. "Looking at film and studying plays can only take you so far. Other guys are going to be on the field getting reps. If you're not out there, proving what you can do, how do you ever get back in the lineup?"
Players reported: July 25
First practice: July 26
Joint practices with Cowboys at Oxnard, Calif.: Aug. 11-12
--Free safety Charles Woodson believes that the influx of veteran players including ends Justin Tuck and LaMarr Woodley and others has put the Raiders in position to be a contender for their first record above .500 in 11 years and beyond.
"We're not looking to build for this year," Woodson said. "We're looking to win now. I look forward to getting started and working toward the ultimate goal."
Woodson liked everything he saw about the way general manager Reggie McKenzie remade the roster in the offseason both in free agency and the draft.
"As I look at the way it was built, solidifying the offensive and defensive lines, bringing in a veteran quarterback in Matt Schaub, running backs like Darren McFadden and Maurice Jones-Drew, plus guys who can rush on the defensive side, there's no reason we can't win a lot of games," Woodson said. "I'm looking forward to building with the guys, getting better and making our run."
--Punter Marquette King said he feels a distinct difference in his third training camp. King was placed on injured reserve with a foot injury as an undrafted free agent in 2012 and replaced Shane Lechler last season as the punter.
"This year you can see people really trying to go out and work," King said. "Everybody's mindset is, OK, they're trying to bring someone in who's better than me so I need to step my game up and work harder."
--Rookie second-round quarterback Derek Carr was having flashbacks attending Houston Texans training camps as a youth when his brother David was the quarterback.
"I remember them reporting to camp and all those things," Carr said. "I like being on this side a lot more than just standing around watching. As a little kid, I couldn't wait for this day to come. Now it's here and I know how much hard work I have to put in."
--Veteran linebacker Kevin Burnett, who carried a salary of more than $3.3 million and hadn't been cleared to play after an ankle injury, was released with the designation failed physical.
Burnett was a man out of a position after Khalil Mack was drafted to play strong-side linebacker plus the presence of third-year linebacker Miles Burris and second-year man Sio Moore, who are competing to start on the weak side.
STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL
--DT C.J. Wilson strained a hamstring while training away from the team and opened camp on the non-football injury list for an indefinite amount of time.
--G Lucas Nix is recovering from knee surgery and opened camp on the physically unable to perform list.
--TE Nick Kasa will open camp on the PUP for an indefinite amount of time with a hip flexor injury.
--DT Stacy McGee broke his thumb training away from the team and opened camp on the non-football injury list and is expected back soon.
--S Usama Young strained a quad muscle during the Raiders' conditioning test to start camp and was placed on the PUP list.
--CB Keith McGill sprained an ankle during the Raiders' conditioning test to start camp and was placed on the PUP list.
UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS (not tendered offers)
--C/G Andre Gurode (not tendered as UFA).
--DE Jason Hunter (not tendered as UFA).
--DT Daniel Muir (not tendered as UFA).
--T Tony Pashos (not tendered as UFA).
RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: None.
EXCLUSIVE RIGHTS FREE AGENTS
--CB Chimdi Chekwa has grown on the coaching staff after being originally cut and brought back to practice squad, then to 53-man roster.
DRAFT CHOICES SIGNED
--LB Khalil Mack (1/5): 4 yrs, terms unknown.
--QB Derek Carr (2/36): 4 yrs, terms unknown.
--G Gabe Jackson (3/81): 4 yrs, terms unknown.
--DT Justin Ellis (4/107): 4 yrs, terms unknown.
--CB Keith McGill (4/116): 4 yrs, terms unknown.
--CB T.J. Carrie (7/219): 4 yrs, terms unknown.
--DE Shelby Harris (7/235): 4 yrs, terms unknown.
--S Jonathan Dowling (7/247): 4 yrs, terms unknown.
--G/T Khalif Barnes: Potential UFA; $1.2M/1 yrs, $100,000 SB.
--LB Kaelin Burnett: ERFA; terms unknown.
--CB Taiwan Jones: Potential UFA; terms unknown.
--T Matt McCants: ERFA; terms unknown.
--RB Darren McFadden: UFA; $1.75M/1 yr.
--FB Jamize Olawale: ERFA; terms unknown.
--S Brandian Ross: ERFA; terms unknown.
--DT Pat Sims: UFA; 1 yr, terms unknown.
--RB Jeremy Stewart: ERFA; terms unknown.
--S Usama Young: UFA; terms unknown.
--S Charles Woodson: UFA; $2.15M/1 yr, $1.15M guaranteed.
--OL Kevin Boothe: UFA Giants; $2.625M/2 yrs, $300,000 RB.
--CB Tarell Brown: UFA 49ers; $3.5M guaranteed/1 yr.
--LB Justin Cole: FA; $645,000/1 yr.
--QB Trent Edwards: FA; $730,000/1 yr.
--T Austin Howard: UFA Jets; $30M/5 yrs, $15M guaranteed.
--WR James Jones: UFA Packers; $10M/3 yrs, $3.65M guaranteed.
--RB Maurice Jones-Drew: UFA Jaguars; $7.5M/3 yrs, $1.2M guaranteed RB.
--WR Greg Little (waivers Browns).
--T Donald Penn: FA Buccaneers; 2 yrs, terms unknown.
--CB Carlos Rogers: FA Redskins; terms unknown.
--QB Matt Schaub (trade Texans).
--DT Antonio Smith: UFA Texans; $9M/2 yrs.
--DT Torell Troup: FA; $570,000/1 yr.
--DE Justin Tuck: UFA Giants; $11M/2 yrs.
--DE C.J. Wilson: UFA Packers; $795,000/1 yr, $65,000 SB.
--LB LaMarr Woodley: FA Steelers; 2 yrs, terms unknown.
--CB Phillip Adams: UFA Seahawks; 1 yr, terms unknown.
--G Mike Brisiel (released).
--LB Kevin Burnett (released/failed physical).
--WR Jacoby Ford: UFA Jets; $740,000/1 yr, $65,000 SB.
--DE Lamarr Houston: UFA Bears; $35M.5 yrs, $4.95M SB/$15M guaranteed.
--CB Mike Jenkins: UFA Buccaneers; $1.5M/1 yr.
--RB Rashad Jennings: UFA Giants; $10M/4 yrs, $2.25M/SB/$2.98M guaranteed.
--TE Jeron Mastrud: Not tendered as UFA/Bears; 1 yr, terms unknown.
--CB Tracy Porter: UFA Redskins; terms unknown.
--QB Terrelle Pryor (traded Seahawks).
--T Jared Veldheer: UFA Cardinals; $35M/5 yrs, $6.25M SB/$17M guaranteed.
--DT Vance Walker: UFA Chiefs; $10.02M/3 yrs, $3M SB.
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