With a ton to prove, is Saints’ Jairus Byrd edging toward a return to action?


More than a week ago, New Orleans Saints fans received some discouraging news — safety Jairus Byrd would begin training camp on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list alongside veteran wide receiver Marques Colston, who returned to action just days later.

The Saints signed Byrd to a massive six-year contract in 2014, only to find him nestled in on the injured reserve just four games into the season after the All-Pro safety suffered a torn lateral meniscus in his knee.

However, in March, Jairus Byrd was cleared to play by doctors, but he remained limited throughout organized team activities and minicamp earlier this summer.

While his true status remains to be determined, could it be that Sean Payton and company want to give the veteran a little rest before he returns to full-contact activity after ten months away?  And could it be that Jairus Byrd is actually edging toward a return to practice at the Saints’ training camp location in the mountains of West Virginia?  Other than an occasional walkthrough, he remains sidelined.

“I think he (Byrd) is progressing well,” Coach Payton said during a press conference following Wednesday’s practice. “I think sooner than later we are going to see him, and at the same time, we are going to be smart.”

That doesn’t answer many questions, but the cause for concern still doesn’t seem to be all too high at the moment.  Saints fans are both patiently and impatiently waiting to see what kind of destruction the ball-hawking Byrd can inflict onto opposing offenses.  It’s a crying shame to continue to see him off to the side after receiving a generous contract totaling $54 million a year ago.

So far, the only thing Jairus Byrd has brought to the table is potential, but potential doesn’t win football games.  No, potential is just another word for false hope if you can’t turn it into anything.

He is without question a proven veteran (three Pro Bowl selections since 2009), but all of that proof came with his former team, the Buffalo Bills.  All eyes are on Jairus Byrd — he still has a ton to prove down on the bayou.

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