NAPA -- Rookie cornerback D.J. Hayden is a tad concerned about how he is going to look when he makes his Raiders debut against the Chicago Bears.

That is understandable, given that Hayden, the Raiders' first-round pick in the draft, hasn't played since he suffered a torn vein near his heart and almost died in November.

Yet, that isn't what Hayden is worried about. It's the extra "flap" that Raiders trainers and doctors are making him wear that has him a bit self-conscious in advance of Friday's exhibition at the O.co Coliseum.

"It just makes me look fat a little bit," Hayden said Sunday after completing his first practice in which he was permitted contact in more than nine months. "I want to look good out there. I can't be looking chubby. It makes me look like I got like a little beer belly or something."

Hayden can laugh about such things now. There was nothing but long faces when he suffered a torn inferior vena cava during a collision with a University of Houston teammate at practice.

He underwent surgery to repair the damage from an injury that proves fatal 95 percent of the time, according to Walter Lowe, the University of Houston team physician. The vein carries blood from the lower half of the body back to the heart.

In late May, Hayden underwent a second operation, this time to remove scar tissue in his abdominal region.

The Raiders were fearful of rushing Hayden into action, even though he declared himself ready weeks ago.


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Hayden spent the first few weeks of training camp wearing a red, non-contact jersey as a precautionary measure. Team trainers and doctors finally cleared him for contact Friday.

Raiders coach Dennis Allen said Hayden has some catching up to do, especially since Hayden missed practice time with a hamstring injury and the team's first two exhibitions.

Allen said he intends to take a look at Hayden against the Bears' first-team offense, at least part of the time.

"It's going to be good to get him in some game action this week, " Allen said. "Physically, he looks just fine."

Hayden said he doesn't mind being thrown into the fire. He is more concerned about not taking the experience for granted.

"I want the game to hurry up and come," Hayden said, "but I want to enjoy that moment, playing in the game."

Fifteen years ago, defensive back Charles Woodson made his Raiders debut after being selected in the first round. Now, he is the one eager to see what the new guy is capable of doing.

"I'm probably just like the coaches and the G.M., you want to see him in a real game situation," Woodson said. "I'm waiting for that."

  • Quarterbacks Matt McGloin and Tyler Wilson didn't receive any reps during practice. Presumptive starter Matt Flynn and backup Terrelle Pryor split the time.

    Allen said that is by design because "we're getting into regular-season mode." Also, the Raiders are preparing for their third exhibition, when the starters tend to get their most extensive action.

  • Flynn can't blame the offensive line for his struggles at practice Sunday, as he could have for his uneven performance against the New Orleans Saints two days earlier.

    During one three-play stretch, Flynn threw two interceptions -- to cornerback Mike Jenkins and linebacker Kaelin Burnett -- and he fumbled a snap. A short time later, Jenkins intercepted Flynn's pass again.

    On the bright side, Flynn ended practice with a well-thrown pass to wide receiver Rod Streater for a touchdown.

  • Seventeen players missed practice. Three others were limited, including running back Darren McFadden (shoulder). Allen said he doesn't view McFadden's injury as serious.

    Follow Steve Corkran on Twitter at twitter.com/CorkOnTheNFL.

    Friday's exhibition
    Chicago (1-1) at Raiders (1-1), 7 p.m. KICU (tape-delayed at 9 p.m.)