The Saints went through OTAs and minicamp without safety Jairus Byrd after their biggest free agent acquisition had back surgery in May.
The word at the time was that Byrd could have played through any injury, but that he decided to get it taken care of in the offseason so that it would not cause him any problems during the season. According to Mike Triplett of ESPN.com, things are progressing as hoped.
Byrd is expected to be healthy enough to take part in the team’s first practices of training camp at the Greenbrier in West Virginia, although the team may opt to bring him along slowly after missing the offseason program. Whether or not he is a full participant from the first day, Byrd’s got plenty of time to get himself into game shape and he should be in the lineup in Week One as long as he avoids any further injury.
The more cautious approach makes sense since the Saints see Byrd’s arrival as a chance to continue the defensive turnaround that started under defensive coordinator Rob Ryan last season. Byrd and Kenny Vaccaro give the team two playmakers to deploy in the back end as they try to claim an NFC South title this season.