Green Bay Packers cornerback Casey Hayward did not practice for the second day this week on Thursday.
What’s going on here? Something fishy, it seems.
There was no update on Hayward’s status after practice and on Tuesday, which was the team’s last practice prior to today, coach Mike McCarthy said he was holding Hayward out as a precaution. The Packers’ slot cornerback lost most of last season with a hamstring injury — he ended up playing in only three games.
That being noted, if you’re going to hold guys out of practice who’ve had hamstring issues, then you might as well bench half the team. Personally, I’d start with Mr. Hamstring Pull himself, Clay Matthews.
Is there something more going on here? Like maybe Hayward is injured again or maybe he’s chronically injured? It seems quite possible.
The Packers play the Raiders at home on Friday night and most of the team’s big guns are expected to play into the third quarter. It’s not known if Hayward will be among them, but his absence would be telling.
After what was essentially a throwaway season in 2013, Hayward has looked good this preseason. He’s effectively reclaimed his spot as the nickel back and looked like the playmaker we remember from 2012.
If there’s any bright side here, it’s that the Packers appear to have way too many competent defensive backs. So if Hayward is going to miss time, there isn’t going to be much of a fall off in play.