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Updated: August 7, 2013 6:35PM
BOURBONNAIS — Bears nickel back Kelvin Hayden is out for the season with a torn left hamstring.
Coach Marc Trestman said Wednesday that the veteran will have surgery and that his recovery will be six to eight months. Hayden suffered the injury during Family Fest at Soldier Field on Saturday.
Hayden, a Chicago native who played at Illinois, signed a one-year deal in March to be the Bears’ nickel back for the second consecutive season.
Safety Chris Conte said that none of the defensive backs expected Hayden’s injury to be that serious when it first happened.
“To hear he’s out for the full year, it’s kind of shocking,” Conte said.
Second-year cornerback Isaiah Frey has had an impressive camp at nickel back in Hayden’s place. It’s considered Frey’s spot to lose right now.
“I’m not really thinking about that right now,” Frey said. “I’m just doing what the coaches ask me to do. A good friend of mine and good teammate injured himself. I’m just really praying he gets healthy.”
Frey said he is yet to speak to Hayden since hearing that he tore his hamstring. But he credits Hayden for helping his development.
“Man, I can’t even explain how much he helps,” said Frey, a sixth-round pick in 2012 from Nevada. “Kelvin is a great guy. He helps me continuously. He’s going to stay and continue to help me. He’s a great guy and I pray for his health.”
If Frey struggles, the Bears have experimented with using Pro Bowl cornerback Tim Jennings at nickel with veteran Zack Bowman at corner. But the preseason should determine how ready Frey is.
“I think Isaiah has got to come out and continue to do what he’s doing, make plays,” coach Marc Trestman said. “He’s certainly in the competition right now to be that guy.”
In other injury news, receiver Earl Bennett has a concussion and will not play Friday in the Bears’ preseason opener against the Carolina Panthers.