Bills safety Jairus Byrd said he felt ready to play in last week’s game against the Ravens, but coach Doug Marrone made the choice to keep him out of the lineup for the fifth straight week.
All signs are that Byrd will be on the field against the Bengals on Sunday, although Marrone said Wednesday that he’s still figuring out how much Byrd will play and in what role. It’s also unclear how the fans at Ralph Wilson Stadium will react to Byrd, who has heard criticism in recent months for skipping most of camp before signing his franchise tender and for saying that he wouldn’t play unless his injured foot felt 100 percent.
Byrd said he felt tempted to respond to critics, but resisted because he understood why they were upset. He’s not particularly interested in winning back any hearts and minds, though.
“I’m not trying to win them back over,” Byrd said, via the team’s website. “I’m just trying to go out there and play my game, do what we can to win games for these guys in the locker room that have played hard, that I’ve been with for four years. That’s what we’re going to try to do is go win games.”
Winning games has long been the easiest way to earn the adulation of fans, so Byrd might be able to wind up back in their good graces even without making it a top priority. Unless, of course, he’s playing in front of someone else’s fans before the month is out.