The same hamstring injury that has kept Casey Hayward on the sidelines for most of August will now cost the Green Bay Packers cornerback at least a month of action to start the 2013 season.
According to Bob McGinn and Ty Dunne of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, Hayward doesn't expect to play during the season's first month as he recovers from a second strain to the same hamstring. The second-year corner originally hurt the hamstring at some point in July, and then left the Packers third preseason game against the Seattle Seahawks after re-aggravating the same injury.
The first pull kept Hayward on the sidelines for the first 25 days of training camp. As expected, the Packers will now be cautious in bringing him back a second time around. Dave Siebert of Bleacher Report highlighted how tricky hamstrings can be to return from earlier this week.
As a rookie in 2012, Hayward intercepted a team-high six passes and finished the season with the best passer rating against (31.1) among qualified cornerbacks in the NFL, per Pro Football Focus.
Green Bay takes on San Francisco to open the season Sunday. Games against Washington and Cincinnati—two playoff teams last season—loom during the first three weeks of 2013. The bye week lands in Week 4 before Detroit travels to Green Bay in Week 5.
The Packers will play fifth-round rookie Micah Hyde in the slot during Hayward's absence.
Zach Kruse is a 25-year-old sports writer who contributes to Cheesehead TV, Bleacher Report and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. He also covered prep sports for the Dunn Co. News. You can reach him on Twitter @zachkruse2 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.