Jairus Byrd Taken Off PUP List, Returns to Practice at New Orleans Saints Training Camp


Jun 10, 2014; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints safety Jarius Byrd (31) during minicamp at the New Orleans Saints Training Facility. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

After the New Orleans Saints completed one of the biggest offseason transactions of the year by signing Jairus Bryd, the free safety decided to undergo spinal surgery to remove some discomfort from his back region.  This drew a bit of concern in the Big Easy, but the procedure was just a precaution and was not even needed.

The All-Pro safety chose to visit Dr. Robert Watkins (the same surgeon who performed on Peyton Manning‘s neck ailment) on his own to avoid any setbacks during the actual season.  Byrd, who leads all players at his position in interceptions (22) since entering the NFL out of the University of Oregon, was placed on the physically unable to perform list just a few days before training camp kicked off.

It is now being reported that the three-time Pro Bowl defensive back has been taken off the PUP list and returned to practices this morning at The Greenbrier — a luxury resort in White Sulphur Springs, WV where the New Orleans Saints are holding their training camp practices at the moment.  Byrd was only available to participate in walkthroughs, but this still comes as good news for the Black and Gold.  He will be out there with his new team and should be ready to go in full pads any day now.

At the time he was acquired by the Saints through a 6-year, $54 million contract, Byrd was the highest paid safety in the NFL.  So anytime you hear about a high-caliber player like this having surgery, the fans will begin to worry.  Nobody wants to see what could arguably be New Orleans’ biggest free-agent signing since Drew Brees miss any time on the field.  Of course, before I find myself building the acquisition up too much, we’ll have to wait and see how he performs in his new colors.

Regardless, Jairus Byrd is back and he is good-to-go.  The New Orleans Saints’ “no-fly zone” is intact and in effect.  Keep an eye on the ball hawk of a safety as training camp progresses; we could possibly be looking at the most dangerous secondary in the National Football League by the time the regular season gets underway.