Bears cornerback and Chicago native Kelvin Hayden has stood at the edge of the abyss, stared into it, and fought back from it.

Early in training camp 2013, Hayden tore a hamstring and was done for the season. He was coming off being the No. 1 nickel back, who played in all 16 games for 2012 and started two in place of Tim Jennings on what was a top-five yardage and scoring defense.

He’d not been able to stay healthy for 16 games for the previous four seasons, with Indianapolis and Atlanta. But this was different, the injury more serious and coming as he was turning 30, and just at the time when he appeared to be settling into a solid role with a top defense.

Hayden admitted there were times he wavered, battling not just the injury but also the discouragement and depression that came with it.

“It was tough, definitely,” he said, shaking his head. “You’re laid up and not doing anything. For six weeks I couldn’t even move my leg. Watching the games from home was depressing sometimes but it was motivation as well. You have to face up to it and say is it going to get the best of me or am I going to accept the challenge. I took the challenge.”

And he did it in more ways than just what was expected.