Saints safety Jairus Byrd should be back 'sooner than later,' coach Sean Payton says _lowres

Advocate file staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON--New Orleans Saints free safety Jairus Byrd (31) started last year's training camp on the Physically Unable to Perform list because of back surgery

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WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W. Va. — Jairus Byrd, the Saints’ prize free agent a year ago, still has not taken the field for the morning session of any practice during training camp.

Byrd, who is trying to recover his old form after a knee injury knocked him out for the season last year, has been available for a few of the Saints’ walk-through sessions in the afternoon.

Saints coach Sean Payton, who does not comment on injuries this time of the season, has not revealed Byrd’s injury, and he declined a question about whether or not it was the same knee.

The Saints have said all along that they do not expect Byrd’s ailment to be serious. The veteran safety is on the physically unable to perform list right now, but he went through OTAs and the team’s mandatory minicamp.

“I think he is progressing well,” Payton said. “I think sooner than later we are going to get a chance to see him and at the same time we are going to be smart.”