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Draft Scout News
09/07/14 - FS Jarius Byrd, signed away from the Buffalo Bills as a free agent, made his presence felt early against the Falcons. He stripped the ball away from wide receiver Julio Jones at the 5-yard line in the first quarter and the Saints recovered in the end zone. In addition to the forced fumble, Byrd had five tackles.
08/21/14 - S Jairus Byrd, the team's biggest acquisition in free agency this winter, was cleared to participate fully in practice for the first time since undergoing back surgery on May 29.
Byrd, who started training camp on the physically unable to perform list, returned to work in the second week of camp but wasn't medically cleared for full contact until Monday. He hopes to play Saturday night against the Colts.
On Tuesday, he was back at it and in his first two practices back showed why the Saints gave him a six-year, $54 million contract to team with second-year strong safety Kenny Vaccaro to solidify the back end of their secondary.
Byrd had a big hit on running back Mark Ingram on Tuesday and on Wednesday night came up with two interceptions, showing the ball-hawking presence the Saints desperately needed last season even though they ranked fourth in the league in fewest yards allowed.
"It definitely felt good to finally get that contact out the way, and get back in the swing of things and adjust to this heat out here. ... It's new," said Byrd.
"Basically, the last step was getting clearance for contact," Payton said. "So now you're seeing him really with no limitations."
08/17/14 - FS Jairus Byrd, who's been brought along slowly after offseason back surgery, could be cleared to participate in team drills Monday.
WR Marques Colston was back at practice Sunday after sitting out Friday night's preseason game for an undisclosed reason.
08/16/14 - FS Jairus Byrd did not play for a second straight week as he continues to work his way back after having back surgery on May 29.
07/29/14 - S Jairus Byrd participated in his first practice with the New Orleans Saints Tuesday after passing his physical. Byrd began camp on physically unable to perform after back surgery in March.
Head coach Payton said after the team's first practice of their three-week stay at The Greenbrier Resort in West Virginia that Byrd, who had surgery on May 29 to repair a damaged disc in his back, was given the PUP designation that limited him to working with trainers on the side.
Payton said Byrd, who received a six-year, $54 million contract from the Saints on the first day of the free-agency signing period in March, was scheduled to be back before the team leaves West Virginia to return to their home base Aug. 14. His presence Tuesday was not a complete surprise.
"We'll work day to day with him," Payton said Sunday. "I think the good news is that it's going to be sooner than later. I don't want to put a time on it, but his progress is ahead of schedule. We're still just getting it to where we feel it is 100 percent."
Byrd worked mostly with trainers last week, backpedaling and changing directions to plant and charge toward the line of scrimmage in sideline drills.
Byrd's back injury was not detected in the team physical by Saints' doctors and Payton described it as "asymptomatic." He had multiple injuries with the Buffalo Bills before becoming the NFL's highest-paid safety in March.
"This is something after the doctors looked at it, and the specialists out in (Los Angeles) looked at it, (they) felt this was one scenario that would kind of take care of it rather than try to (keep managing it). If it was during the season, you wouldn't go through the procedure. You would treat it symptomatically then," Payton explained.