Saints Lose Safety Jairus Byrd For Season
Jairus Byrd was supposed to give the New Orleans Saints one of the best safety duos in the NFL. Instead, he disappointed and now he’ll have to wait until 2015 to try to redeem himself.
Per reports, Byrd suffered a torn lateral meniscus in his knee on Thursday, and will be lost for the season. The injury occurred in practice and will result in Byrd being placed on season-ending injured reserve.
Byrd was not living up to expectations leading into Thursday’s injury, as the former Buffalo Bills safety was part of a problematic Saints defense that was giving up far too many yards and points.
This is an especially troubling development considering the massive deal Byrd agreed to to come in and help the Saints – a six-year $54 million pact the two sides nailed down this past off-season. With over $8 million of that contract guaranteed to go to Byrd after the season, there is no talk about the team quickly cutting their losses with the 27-year old.
With Byrd now focusing solely on getting healthy for next year, the Saints are back to the drawing board at the free safety position. Second-year stud safety Kenny Vaccaro still has the strong safety spot hammered down, but the team will now look to unproven safety Rafael Bush to pair with him to make a strong duo.
While Byrd was disappointing in his first four games with the team, it’s difficult to imagine inserting Bush will make this Saints defense any better. In fact, on paper it looks like things are only going to get worse.
With that said, New Orleans still can lean back on knowing they’ll have Byrd back at 100% next year, and still have one of the most talented safety pairings in the league. Between now and then, their main focus will have to be figuring out the rest of the defense to do what needs to be done to give Byrd and Vaccaro a chance to live up to expectations.
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