After undergoing a back surgery in late May that was described as minor, Saints safety Jairus Byrd’s recovery is progressing as hoped, ESPN’s Mike Triplett reported via an anonymous source Monday.
Byrd was present for but did not participate in any drills at the Saints’ offseason organized team activities (“OTAs”) and minicamp. The surgery was to address a problematic disk, and Byrd supposedly could have played through it; but he, doctors and the team decided to handle it in the offseason with the goal of preventing it from becoming an issue after the regular season kicks off in Atlanta on Sept. 8.
Triplett’s report said it’s expected Byrd will be healthy enough to participate in training camp, but it’s unknown if he’ll at all be limited when the Saints start practices at The Greenbrier resort in West Virginia on Friday.
Byrd, a three-time Pro Bowler, signed with the Saints in March on a massive six-year deal worth up to $54 million after spending his first five years in the NFL with Buffalo. Because Byrd leads all NFL safeties with 22 regular-season interceptions during his five years in the league, the Saints hope he will help create takeaways for a defense that generated the fourth-fewest last year but still held opponents to the fourth-fewest yards and points.
As Triplett’s report noted, it remains unclear if nose tackle John Jenkins (pec) and wide receiver Joseph Morgan (knee) will be kept out of or limited in drills when training camp opens. Both missed OTAs and camp.