Bears nickelback Kelvin Hayden has a torn hamstring and will require season-ending surgery, team officials said Tuesday.
Hayden, who replaced D.J. Moore as nickelback late last season, expected to log significant playing time as the third defensive back alongside Charles Tillman and Tim Jennings. His injury creates an opportunity for second-year player Isaiah Frey, who has enjoyed a productive training camp and drawn praise from coaches.
Frey said he was eager for the opportunity but disappointed for Hayden, who has mentored him during camp. Hayden was injured during the Bears' practice Saturday but teammates did not learn the extent of his injury until Tuesday.
"He's going to continue to help me," Frey said. "He's a great guy."
Hayden's injury also could lead to more playing time for undrafted free agent Demontre Hurst, who is behind Frey on the depth chart.
– Tom Musick