ALAMEDA — The Oakland Raiders placed first-round pick D.J. Hayden on season-ending injured reserve Wednesday after he underwent sports hernia surgery on his injured groin.
The Raiders also added linebacker Miles Burris to the active roster and re-signed defensive lineman Brian Sanford.
Hayden played in eight games this season before injuring his groin in practice earlier this month. He struggled in his final game, allowing two touchdown passes in a loss to Philadelphia.
It was a rough debut season for Hayden, who was picked 12th overall out of Houston despite suffering a near-fatal practice injury that cut his final season in college short.
“He had his ups and downs,” coach Dennis Allen said. “He had some times where I thought he played really well, and some times where he looked like a rookie out there. But I think for where he's at, for the things that he's had to go through, I was pleased with his progress and now he's got to go through another rehab process and begin to start getting ready for next year. It will be a great thing for him to have a full offseason where he can work out, get himself in shape, get bigger, get stronger and get ready for next year.”
Hayden missed out on that chance last offseason after he collided with a teammate in practice at Houston one year ago, tearing a blood vessel off the back of his heart. He was rushed into surgery for a tear of the inferior vena cava, the large vein that carries blood from the lower half of the body to the heart.
The injury is 95 percent fatal in the field, according to doctors, and is most commonly associated with high-speed motor vehicle accidents.
Hayden didn't know if he'd ever be able to walk again, much less play football. But he eventually recovered and worked his way back to get drafted by the Raiders. After a setback in May when he had to undergo surgery to repair an abdominal scar, Hayden was finally cleared for contact midway through training camp and played eight games before the groin injury.