D.J. Hayden should resume slot duties for the Jacksonville Jaguars soon.
One surprising bright spot for the Jacksonville Jaguars in recent weeks has been their cornerback room. The duo of C.J. Henderson and Sidney Jones have performed solidly and the group could become even better with D.J. Hayden‘s return to the lineup.
The team announced they’ve designated Hayden to return from their Injured Reserve List. The team will have a 21-day window to add him to the active roster or shut him down for the reminder of the season. While the cornerback won’t dress up in Week 11 or even the following game, his return seems like a matter of time.
Hayden partook in four games this season before suffering a hamstring injury that landed him on the reserve list. Before the lesion, the Houston standout a prominent role in the Jaguars’ secondary and played on 177 defensive snaps in a four-game span. All in all, he registered 13 total tackles, one pass defensed, and an interception.
In four games, Hayden was targeted 15 times and allowed 13 receptions. While those numbers might not sound enticing, his 11.6 yard-per-completion average is better than Jaguars slot cornerback Tre Herndon‘s 13.8. It’s likely Hayden will resume slot duties once he returns to the active roster.
D.J. Hayden will round up the Jacksonville Jaguars cornerback group.
The Jaguars pass defense currently ranks 30th in yards allowed an 26th in touchdowns, but gotten good production from Henderson and Jones in recent weeks. Once Hayden is back, the cornerback group’s performance should improve.
The rookie cornerback struggled for a couple of weeks, but he played well against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week11. Henderson finished the game with three total tackles, one pass defensed, and one forced fumble. Moreover, he just allowed six receptions for 43, displaying an ability to take away the big play.
Meanwhile, Jones had nine total tackles, two pass deflections, and one interception. Although Jones gave up a big play for a touchdown, his production in that game outweighed his mistake and has steadily seen his role increase since he joined the starting lineup in Week 5.