ALAMEDA, Calif. (AP) - As soon as D.J. Hayden woke up, he flashed back one year to the day he almost died in a practice collision.
Hayden got an encouraging text message from his mother Wednesday morning and said he just felt blessed to be living after undergoing emergency heart surgery last Nov. 6.
After battling his way back from a near-death experience, Hayden's growing pains as a rookie cornerback in the NFL for the Oakland Raiders appear like minor impediments rather than shaking his confidence after a rough outing last week against Philadelphia.

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