Hayward, 31, played in 11 games last season before fracturing a bone in his right leg during the Week 12 loss to the San Francisco 49ers. He finished the season with 13 tackles.
In April, Gruden said he expected Hayward to lead the Redskins’ special teams unit. Hayward was a unit team captain last season.
“When we lost Hayward, that really hurt,” Gruden said, according to El-Bashir. “He was a captain back there. He really holds a high standard for all of our players. Having him back as a captain, having some other guys... in their second year with [special teams coordinator Ben] Kotwica, we’ll be good.”
Hayward signed a three-year contract with the Redskins in March 2014 after seven seasons with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who selected him in the sixth round of the 2007 NFL draft.
- Mike Fiammetta