As if the already rocky start to the career of Darrius Heyward-Bey could get any worse, it appears it did.
The former number seven overall pick (ahead of Michael Crabtree) recently missed four days of training camp. When asked on why he was absent from camp, coach Tom Cable said the young receiver was “fatigued.”
“He is fatigued. We wrap him up, we keep him out of things,’’ Cable said. “When it gets to the point where if we push it anymore he might get injured, I’m not going to do that. I backed off.’’
When it was suggested to Cable that Heyward-Bey may have over-trained in the offseason, he said, “Yeah. I think guys do that now, especially with the way the offseason are and as long as they are and all that. He’s OK. I’m just not going to put him a situation where it may get us a negative outcome.’’
When asked exactly what that meant Heyward-Bey responded.
“Body, legs, you know just fatigue,’’ Heyward-Bey said. “Doing a lot of running. Receivers, we’re low in numbers anyway. I feel bad for the other guys out there and me missing. But we’re working hard out there, so it takes a toll.’’
“You gotta be smart out there. You have to ask yourself, ‘Can I play at the level they want me to play at?,’ ” Heyward-Bey said.
I can’t remember ever seeing a 23 year old needing four days off practice off to rest. This is his second year, the year he is supposed to show that he was worthy of a top ten pick. But he’s too bust resting, while the rest of their teammates are busting their asses off out there. I’m scratching my head over this one. Could the Raiders have been hiding an injury? Who knows what goes on behind the scenes in Oakland. Reports said that Heyward-Bey improved in “some ways” but “there has been little on the field to suggest he is anything approximating the No. 7 pick in the 2009 draft.” After catching only 9 passes in your rookie season, it’s hard not to improve so I’m not expecting a breakthrough from Heyward-Bey this season. This is not what you want to see from a player that is collecting $21.4 million this year. But then again, decisions like that are why the Raiders have lost at least 11 games for seven straight seasons.