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Practice Recap - October 15

DJ Hayden was back.

Well…at least back on the practice field.

As the Raiders returned to practice this afternoon at their Alameda facility, they did so with the full participation of second-year cornerback DJ Hayden.

Wednesday was the first time Hayden has been an active participant in practice during the 2014 season, as a foot injury forced him to the Physically Unable to Perform list.

"It feels awesome to be back," Hayden said after practice when addressing the media at his locker. "I'm glad I'm out there with my teammates. I just want to make plays; that's it."

The past few months haven't been easy for the Houston product, but throughout the wait, he kept his mind focused on his eventual return to the football field.

"I just dealt with it," he said. "I had to wait six weeks. I waited six weeks and now it's my time to play."

Interim Head Coach Tony Sparano also spoke about the return of Hayden to the practice field on Wednesday during his post-practice remarks.

"It was really nice to have him out there today," said Coach Sparano. "He did a good job today out there and in his time out there today, so I'm sure he was excited to be out there and we were excited to have him out there."

Photos from the Raiders Week 7 Wednesday practice in Alameda - October 15, 2014.

Coach Sparano also said that Hayden recorded an interception during practice, something the young cornerback confirmed afterwards.

"It felt good to get the ball back in my hands," said Hayden. "I did get one [an interception] and it felt good."

Although he's back at practice, the Raiders do not need to immediately promote Hayden to the active roster, and Coach Sparano believes that it's key for Hayden to gain some "small successes" in the coming days.

"Today was a small success," said Coach Sparano. "He [Hayden] went out there and he got a chance to run around a little bit and be with his teammates and do some of that, so that's an important first step. To create some small successes I think would be the biggest factor for him right now, as far as confidence goes."

Hayden will have another chance to gain a small success tomorrow as he and the Raiders get back to practice in preparation for their Sunday matchup with the Arizona Cardinals.

We will have updates from the practice field and coverage of both Offensive Coordinator Greg Olson and Defensive Coordinator Jason Tarver's Thursday press conferences.

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