Hayward thought he re-injured hamstring in Jets pregame

Weston Hodkiewicz
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Casey Hayward didn't see a lot of snaps in Sunday's 19-7 loss to Detroit, but the third-year cornerback felt fortunate to even suit up.

Green Bay Packers cornerback Casey Hayward makes a catch while running drills during training camp practice at Ray Nitschke Field.

A week ago, Hayward was prepared for the worst when he felt a twinge near the back of his leg during warm-ups before the Packers' 31-24 win over the New York Jets.

Hayward, limited to three games last season because of a recurring hamstring injury, immediately feared he was on the verge of another setback.

The only difference was Hayward was still able to walk.

"That's what kind of shocked me," said Hayward, a defensive rookie of the year finalist in 2012 before the injury. "I thought it was my hammy, but I knew if it was my hammy I couldn't walk at all."

The coaching staff decided to not use him on defense, but he still took his allotted special-team snaps before having an MRI early last week that showed the injury was to his glute and not the hamstring. Team doctors told him it will be sore for a week or two, but he'd be able to play.

After returning to practice Thursday, Hayward was called upon defensively when Davon House was carted to the locker room with cramping in the third quarter. He returned in the fourth quarter after receiving an IV.

Hayward seemed to play well in his place with two tackles, including one for a loss in stopping Lions running back Joique Bell near the end of the third quarter.

Before the cramping episode, House grabbed his second career interception off a deep ball from Matthew Stafford intended for Calvin Johnson. He's played well since stepping in for Hayward in the nickel subpackage last week against the Jets.

When healthy, Hayward rarely has been an observer on the sideline, but he's not griping about it. He just waiting for another opportunity.

"We have have four corners we feel like I can start most places in the league," Hayward said. "Somebody is always going to be the odd (man out). Today, it was me. Week 1 it was House. You just never know. Whenever your number is called, you just have to be ready. ... We support each other regardless of the outcome or the decision."

Bryan Bulaga also played Sunday after being initially listed as questionable. The Packers' starting right tackle sat out of last week's game against the Jets because of a sprained MCL suffered in the second quarter in Seattle.

Bulaga continued to wear a brace over his surgically reconstructed left knee, but said he felt good in his first game back. The former first-round pick missed the past 1½ seasons because of a torn ACL and hip injury.

"My knee felt fine all the way through," Bulaga said. "Felt strong, felt explosive with coming off for a week."

Extra points

• Ha Ha Clinton-Dix's first-quarter interception was the first by a Green Bay Packers safety since Dec. 2, 2012. That's when Morgan Burnett had two against Minnesota at Lambeau Field.

• Undrafted rookie linebacker Jayrone Elliott was on the 46-member active squad for the first time. He replaced linebacker Andy Mulumba, who sustained a season-ending knee injury last week, on special teams. Elliott's NFL debut took place one hour north of Toledo, where he starred as a defensive end in college.

• The Packers hadn't lost two straight games to the Lions since Sept. 19, 1999. That was also the last time Green Bay lost twice in a row at Detroit. The Packers haven't lost three in a row to the Lions since late in the 1991 season. and follow him on Twitter @WesHod.

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