Jairus Byrd closing in on a return to action for New Orleans Saints?
New Orleans Saints fans are getting tired of safety Jairus Byrd doing absolutely nothing for their team. I’m sure coaches and players aren’t overly excited about the generously paid defensive back watching from the sidelines either.
Jairus Byrd, who missed just about all of 2014 with a torn meniscus he suffered last October, was a limited participant at Saints minicamp earlier this summer after being medically cleared by doctors. However, he began and finished training camp on the physically unable to perform list (PUP), sitting out the entire preseason.
Of course, head coach Sean Payton refused to give any sort of indication on when he’ll be ready to go, so the health concerns have done nothing but grow, and for good reason. Jairus Byrd was signed to a huge six-year/$54 million free agent deal a year ago for one reason — to bolster up an already solid defensive unit (solid at the time). That has not happened, obviously.
People want their Jairus Byrd back, and according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com, that could be happening very soon. Byrd was not placed on the reserve PUP list, which means he’s on the active roster and can return to action whenever he’s healthy. According to Rapoport, the Pro Bowl safety is rapidly improving and we should see him soon. It’s nothing concrete, but it is promising coming from one of the more high-profile NFL insiders. It’s been nearly impossible to get anything on him regarding his health.
The talent is without question there for Jairus Byrd, but there’s really no telling if he’ll ever return to that spectacular form he displayed so well through five seasons with the Buffalo Bills. He’s done nothing to prove he’s the same person he was in upstate New York since taking his talents to the Big Easy.
It’s false hope until he can prove otherwise. But there’s no doubt in my mind that when Jairus Byrd is finally 100 percent, he’ll be able to rebound back into a top-tier safety as one of the league’s best. This is a special athlete, but health will still continue to be a major concern, and the window for a Week 1 return seems to be getting smaller each day. Stay tuned.