Jairus Byrd is going to get his chance in Carolina quickly

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The Panthers have taken fliers on veterans who may or may not be over the hill before.

And the latest version could end up playing a big role this weekend.

They needed a body at safety with starter Kurt Coleman out for a month with a knee injury, so they signed former Saints free agent bust Jairus Byrd. And Byrd could end up starting sooner rather than later, since the Panthers don’t have many other options.

With backup Demetrious Cox nursing an ankle injury, the Panthers are down to either the newcomer or special teamer Colin Jones to start next to Mike Adams at safety against the Lions.

Panthers coach Ron Rivera compared it to the acquisition of Jared Allen two years ago during their Super Bowl run, after defensive end Charles Johnson was injured.

“That’s a great comparison because that is what we did talk about, ‘Hey, we’ve got an opportunity here to pick up a guy that’s been in systems and understands systems,” Rivera said, via Joe Person of the Charlotte Observer. “The other bonus we get out of this, too, is he’s been in this division. So he knows Atlanta. He knows New Orleans. He knows Tampa Bay, as well.”

Byrd’s turning 31 tomorrow, and there’s no guarantee he’s going to hold up after years of knee problems in New Orleans.

“Any time you step out on the field or are playing this game, I always have something to prove. That’s just how I’m wired,” Byrd said. “Injuries are part of this game and unfortunately there’s not much you can do about that. Now it’s about taking care of my body and just making sure I’m available and doing what I need to do.”

The Panthers need him until Coleman returns, and his signing’s also a signal of the short-term nature of the roster they assembled this year.

7 responses to “Jairus Byrd is going to get his chance in Carolina quickly

  1. Byrd man had NINE interceptions his rookie year. He should have won defensive rookie of the year over Brian Cushing -especially after Cushing was caught taking performance enhancing drugs that year. He has since been caught cheating again….

  2. He WAS one of the best safeties …….. 3 – 4 years ago. Let’s hope there’s enough left to help his new team.

  3. Saints fan….. I wish the guy luck, but man he was burnt toast in NOLA. I mean it was painful to watch. And he was playing “Centerfield” which is his position in which he exceled at in Buf, but knee problems have caused him to loose a step, and that’s not good when you a FS

  4. Stafford is licking his chops thinking of throwing his way. He better hope Ameer, or Riddick don’t break through, they will juke those bad knees into flubbed

    Either way I hope neither one of our team’s have to deal with anymore injuries. Geee, it’s been rough for only four games so far

  5. Stafford is licking his chops thinking of throwing his way. He better hope Ameer, or Riddick don’t break through, they will juke those bad knees into flubbed

    Either way I hope neither one of our team’s have to deal with anymore injuries. Geee, it’s been rough for only four games so far this year

  6. Injuries and bad scheme really hurt him in New Orleans. The Panthers had luck with Roman Harper and even the guy Byrd’s replacing, Kurt Coleman, when it comes to signing older veteran safeties, although both of those two play very differently than Jairus Byrd. He won’t be playing for either Dennis Allen or Rob Ryan, so maybe that will help him some.

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