Jairus Byrd suffers season-ending knee injury

AP

A knee injury has ended Jairus Byrd’s first season in New Orleans.

The club has placed Byrd on injured reserve, Saints coach Sean Payton announced Friday, according to the team’s official Twitter feed.

The Saints’ starting free safety, Byrd suffered a torn lateral meniscus in Thursday’s practice, Payton said, according to Katherine Terrell of the New Orleans Times-Picayune.

The 28-year-old Byrd struck a six-year, $54 million deal with the Saints in March. He notched 22 tackles in four starts with New Orleans (1-3).

However, Byrd’s play has been the source of some scrutiny. Through four 2014 games, Pro Football Focus has graded Byrd 65th of 76 qualifying safeties. (Kenny Vaccaro, his Saints safety mate, is ranked dead last in PFF’s ratings.) And appearing on the Ross Tucker Football Podcast earlier this week, NFL Films senior producer Greg Cosell opined that Byrd might be “playing the worst” of any safety in the NFL this season, pointing to missed tackles as a big problem for the ex-Bill.

Rafael Bush will step in at free safety, Payton said, according to the team.

79 responses to “Jairus Byrd suffers season-ending knee injury

  1. Saints over paying for Byrd while tight against the cap looks worse and worse every day. Here’s to a speedy recovery…

  2. Quite the expensive free agent signing and no cap room for next few years……I would say the window is closing for the Saints.

  3. You hate to see anyone get injured, regardless of what team you’re a fan of. Except when you are on the internet, where everyone is the worst person they can possibly be without consequences.

  4. Hate to say it but other than the huge cap number, this could be a blessing in disguise. Byrd has been invisible since that play on the first drive against the failcons week 1. He has a LONG way to go to justify that contract. Hope the Bills fans happily waiving goodbye due to his being injury prone were not 100% correct :/

  5. Just because he suited up all 48 games doesn’t mean he wasn’t playing hurt and should have missed a few. Never can blame a guy for getting paid though, Ain’ts should have done their homework.

  6. Not sure what the problem is in NO….dude kicked some serious butt for my Bills while he was here….

  7. Speaking of bad safety play. I think Harrison Smith is still dizzy from the 720 degree pirouette Jordy Nelson put him through last night.

  8. Hate to hear about the injury, but the comments regarding his play seem to vindicate the Bills for not breaking the bank for him, but I am going to go out on a limb and say no one will write a column on how WRONG they were while ripping the Bills for letting him go!

  9. @williambrasky

    Well, he is hurt almost every year, he had groin problems, didn’t finish his rookie campaign and, oh, let’s not forget the Plantar Fasciitis that caused him to miss/affect his play through most of last season. This was essentially a one-year deal anyways, no way NO can afford to keep him, and at his salary and 2 injury filled seasons, they shouldn’t. Maybe they can over-pay for Gilmore to once he hits the market, another overrated DB on this Buffalo roster.

  10. Even before Byrd’s injury, our defense was pathetic. I wish it wasn’t true but we SUCK (so far and I don’t really see us turning that around!) Regardless, I WILL cheer on each and EVERY time MY team plays: WHO DAT!

  11. …and the best is yet to come. As soon as he is healthy, Eugene Parker will have him hold out until the Cowboys can come up with a $100 million dollar contract.

    Still, he is a really good player. When he’s healthy.

  12. Byrd and Vaccaro looked to be one of the better safety tandems going into the season. Sometimes things don’t work out.
    .

  13. I hope he heals well and makes a full recovery.

    I don’t blame Byrd for seeking to be paid more. It was his right as a free agent. It’s the NFL – you gotta make money when you can.

    I do reserve the right to be somewhat annoyed at his “plantar fasciatis” excuse for missing exactly the number of games necessary to bring his “per game” pay to the number he wanted from Buffalo in his last year here.

    And a teeny-tiny portion of me wants to bitterly go “ha-ha” (queue the Nelson voice) at the Saints – who paid an admittedly talented safety WAY too much to lure him away. I knew from the moment the contract was signed that there was NO way that it would end well for either participant.

    But that’s mostly just the mean-spirited part of a long suffering Bills fan who is tired of watching good players leave town to “go to winners.”

    But the better part me simply wants to repeat “Heal well, Jarius Byrd.”

  14. Hey when New Orleans signed him I was glad the Bills did not take the bait the DUDE is always hurt…… And well, Call It

  15. And this is the guy everyone wanted the Rams to sign. As if THEY don’t have enough problems of their own. Perhaps some of the Ram’s bad karma is showing up here. Seems like a decent player, and hopes are he comes back so the Saints can recoup some of the money. I sure thought the Saints would have an awesome year. Maybe not.

  16. It’s funny how all kinds of people are writing the Saints off because of a bad start and one injury. Just shows how much faith they have (not much). Sounds to me like there are a lot of quitters and weak people posting on this thread. Carolina started 1-3 last season and ended up winning the division. But I guess it’s just human nature for some people to throw up the white flag because of a little bit of struggles. I must be a different type of breed, cause that kind of mindset don’t exist in my world. Guess some of you people just lose at everything you do so y’all expect everybody else to lose too.

  17. Disastrous year for the Saints. I thought they made some good moves but instead their defense has gotten worse (by ten times) and they can’t win away from home. What is with these NFC south teams? Carolina was good last year too. Atlanta has the same problem as the Saints where they are garbage away from home.

  18. Yep he got a good deal from the Saints and now the New Orleans team will be screwed for years to come.

  19. byrd and Vaccaro were being touted as one of the best safety combos in the league. After four weeks, no forced turnovers and many missed tackles plus 54Mill later he’s on IR. As far as Vaccaro he played really good last year, this year he’s been invisible.

  20. Bills were so dumb for letting this guy go, everyone said.

    The 54 million they saved on him was spent on Corey Graham, Keith Rivers, Chris Williams, Brandon Spikes, & Kyle Orton.

    Yeah, what idiots!

  21. As a human, feel bad for him. Here’s to a speedy recovery, especially as he’s Gil Byrd’s son. As a Bucs fan, this Saints game is starting to actually look winnable if Glennon starts as it seems NO’s secondary is ripe for the picking if the defense can stop Brees from having a field day. With a win and some luck with a Car and ATL loss, Bucs would be in a 3 way tie for 1st place(!) in the NFC South.

  22. Whaley is a genius for signing an ascending Aaron Williams and not a descending Byrd. Welcome to salary cap hell ‘aints!

  23. How does Brees escape censure? When his head coach was suspended for a year, when his team needed his leadership, Brees held out through camp. Then he signed a me first contract which assured cap hell down the road. Then he attacked the NFL, a business that has made his family wealthier than he could have dreamed. What a guy.

  24. I hope for you sake Mr. Byrd that ROB RYAN will be gone when you come back. Get your rank back up once his worthless defensive scheme is down the road.

  25. Not a Saints fan, but never like to see a guy get hurt; hope his rehab goes well….

    Also have to give NO some props for finding enough dollars to keep Bush in free agency, when Atlanta wanted to sign him; if you put any stock in those PFF rankings, he should be able to fill in capably for Byrd, who hasn’t set the bar too high in New Orleans so far…..

  26. If a team has a guy who is playing poorly and seriously underachieving, is it that big a loss?

  27. Its funny how all these Bills fans are really so very happy Byrd got hurt. That’s about all Bills fans can be happy about. You weren’t crapping on this guy when he was picking off 22 passes and forcing 11 fumbles for your BUM squad though. Buffalo Bills are a joke of an organization and so are their uneducated fans.

  28. And to the Philly fans, go ahead and enjoy Sproles and Jenkins now cause in about a month Sproles will look old and slow like he did last year with us. And most likely sooner than later you’ll be seeing Jenkins get burnt routinely. Roman Harper and Malcolm Jenkins are the reasons we don’t have more than one Super Bowl ring (2011 to be specific). Have fun Eagle fans……

  29. Thank Goodness! This gives all the ESPN analysts a much-travelled excuse for why it isn’t the Saints versus the Patriots in the Super Bowl.

  30. Hoping for his recovery.

    For the Saints, meanwhile, this deal was a complete bust, they ironcally overpaid Byrd despite having to let a dozen players go (including Sproles) due to salary cap issues and he didn’t pay off while on the field.

  31. To respond to saint12013 above, I say a man’s trash is another man’s treasure.

    the Saints get the very worse of both worlds. First, their treasure, Byrd, isn’t what the Saints thought he was. He stank up the place and the saint’s D got worse. To add injury to insult, he got himself out for the season.

    The Saints’ trash, Jenkins and Sproles are playing like probowlers in Philly. Jenkins 3 int and making big plays. Sproles is a special team ace and is responsible for the Eagles first 2 wins.

    I personally think is was a HUGE mistake signing Byrd to a big contract and an even BIGGER mistake to let these 2 probowl type players go. And let philly snatched them.

    Conclusion, considering that Byrd’s contract is bigger than Jenkins and Sproles combined. Byrd, a bum, Jenkins and Sproles playing like probowlers. The Saints got screwed big time. Someone will get fired.

  32. Ya but good teams have depth. So while Byrd is on injured reserve, in comes Raphael Bush. And for those that don’t know who he is (probably a lot of you I only watch ESPN highlights but don’t actually watch the game and act like I know about football people). Just ask Danny Amendola and Percy Harvin and they’ll tell you exactly who he is…..

  33. I wonder sometimes if stellar coaches such as Belechick and Payton let their confidence get the best of them and either allow players to leave (Jenkins, Sproles, Mankins, Moss, etc.) thinking they can beat teams with their SB minds. NE could have had Cordelle Paterson but traded the pick to Minny and right about now NE could use a guy like Paterson just like NO could use a guy like Sproles. The cap makes it hard for teams to sustain success but neither situation or player would have mattered, especially considering NO could have kept Jenkins and Sproles for what they paid for Byrd.

  34. What don’t y’all understand ? We didn’t want to keep Sproles or Jenkins. Sproles is 31 and we are loaded at RB. People think cause Jenkins has a few picks he’s the next Ed Reed. Jenkins is an average player. There is a reason he was drafted as a CB and had to move to Safety. He’s slow and takes bad angles on tackles. Watch you guys will see real soon how he is.

  35. Anybody that truly followed Jarius Byrd’s antics in his final season in Buffalo should have known better that Byrd would be the type of player that does just enough to get paid and that’s it.

  36. If PFF is saying that he is playing like the worst safety in the league, what’s the problem with him being out?

    And as for the reaction of Bills fans to this post – and I am one – wow..for the most part you sound like a bunch of 8 year olds with your vindictive comments. Maybe that’s why bad karma has stuck to the Bills organization. I do agree that Byrd played the system last year, but get over it and move on.

    As for Byrd, I agree with an earlier comment that once Rob Ryan is fired and a more sound defensive scheme is implemented, he will thrive.

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