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 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.