It was somewhat of a surprise when the Bears released Kelvin Hayden at final cuts. I predicted it so it wasn’t that much of a surprise, but experienced cornerbacks are in short supply league wide and Hayden was a decent 3rd-4th corner as recently as 2012. The Bears moved WR Marquess Wilson to the “Injured Reserve / Designated to Return” list today which opened up a spot on the 53-man roster. The Bears used this spot to re-sign Kelvin Hayden. The Bears now have six corners on the roster: Tillman, Jennings, Fuller, McManis, Hurst, and now Hayden. I’m not sure where Hayden fits on the depth chart. He hasn’t played much special teams, but I don’t think the Bears would have brought Hayden back as a 4th-5th corner if he isn’t going to contribute on special teams.
Hayden is a former 2nd round draft pick in 2005 from my alma mater, the University of Illinois. Most Bears fans know Hayden best from his interception return for a TD against the Bears in Super Bowl XLI. He picked off an errant Rex Grossman pass and his TD sealed the game for the Colts. Hayden started 45 games for the Colts from 2007-2010 before joining the Falcons via free agency. A year later the Bears signed Hayden and he appeared in all 16 games for the Bears in 2012 with 2 starts. Hayden missed all of last season with a hamstring injury and struggled this year in preseason. Hopefully he was just rusty this preseason and he will get back to his 2012 form during the season.
The Bears made another roster move yesterday, releasing LS Brandon Hartson and replacing him with LS Jeremy Cain. This is Cain’s third stint with the Bears; He originally joined the Bears as a LB in 2004 and then in 2013 as a LS for two games to fill in for Patrick Mannelly. Ultimately, I just don’t think the Bears were comfortable with the untested Hartson as the long-snapper, so they brought in a more experienced option in Cain.