New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton announced Friday that defensive back Jairus Byrd is headed to injured reserve. The three-time Pro Bowler tore his lateral meniscus during practice on Tuesday.

The sixth-year pro started the first four games of the season and is New Orleans’ third leading tackler, with 29 total. Byrd’s officially listed as the team’s starting free safety but defensive coordinator Rob Ryan has moved him from there to cornerback. Listed behind Byrd on the depth chart is Rafael Bush, a fourth-year pro out of South Carolina State who has appeared in all four games and started at nickelback last Sunday night. Corey White started last week at strong safety and Kenny Vaccaro at free safety.

New Orleans enters Sunday ranked 29th in total team defense and is tied with Tampa Bay at 28th against the pass, surrendering an average of 272.5 yards per game.

Byrd is the son of Buccaneers defensive backs coach Gill Byrd. The latter’s coaching career has included three NFL stops — St. Louis, Chicago and Tampa Bay — all alongside Lovie Smith. In his playing days Byrd was an All-Pro cornerback for the San Diego Chargers.

Gill Byrd spoke with members of the Tampa Bay media after practice Friday and gave no indication of his son’s injury before it was announced about an hour later.


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About the Author: Zach Shapiro

Zach is entering his 3rd year covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as a writer for Since 2014, he's handled a large part of the beat reporting responsibilities at PR, attending all media gatherings and publishing and promoting content daily. Zach is a native of Sarasota, FL, and a graduate of the University of Tampa. He has also covered high school football for the Tampa Tribune and the NFL for Pro Player Insiders. Contact him at:
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7 years ago

Oh good!!