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D.J. Hayden going on IR with hamstring injury, ending season

ALAMEDA, Calif. -- The Oakland Raiders will place cornerback D.J. Hayden on season-ending injured reserve with a hamstring injury suffered Sunday in a victory against the Carolina Panthers, coach Jack Del Rio said Friday.

"That was a big blow," Del Rio said. "It's unfortunate. He was playing well for us."

Hayden, the 12th overall selection in the 2013 draft, is in the final year of his rookie contract.

With Hayden out, TJ Carrie, Antonio Hamilton and perhaps Dexter McDonald should split time in the slot as well as backing up Sean Smith and David Amerson on the outside. Amerson, though, was listed as questionable to play with a knee injury that kept him out against Carolina.

Hayden moved into a role as Oakland's nickel cornerback this season. He also played on the outside when Smith missed time with a shoulder injury and when Amerson sat out against the Panthers.

In 11 games this season, Hayden had 37 tackles with one forced fumble, six passes defensed and no interceptions. He has three career interceptions for no return yards with 26 passes defensed.

The Raiders declined to exercise their fifth-year option on Hayden's contract during the offseason.

"It's my fourth year," he said during training camp. "It's about time I made some plays. I want to score some touchdowns. So, [I'm] pretty confident I will.

"Inside [the slot], you've got to kind of come at it at a different approach because [receivers] got so much field to work with. But I mean, it's pretty much the same thing: 'That's your guy, cover him.'

"They put me out there and I just started getting after it. ... I like it. I like it a lot."

Hayden was limited to 18 games during his first two seasons. During his final college season at Houston, months before the Raiders drafted him, he nearly died on the practice field after suffering an injury to his heart.