Buffalo Bills safety Jairus Byrd, a two-time Pro Bowler ('09, '12) who led the conference in interceptions each of those seasons, could make his season debut this Sunday against the Bengals after rehabilitating from plantar fasciitis that he suffered during training camp. During Wednesday's pressers, head coach Doug Marrone said that "we expect him to be able to play. I'm really excited to see him back out there." Marrone wouldn't say if Byrd will start.
Despite sitting for the first five games this year, Byrd was a full participant during Tuesday's practice heading into Buffalo's Thursday Night game against the Cleveland Browns. He was a full participant on Wednesday.
Unhappy about receiving the franchise tag earlier this year, Byrd waited until early August to sign his one-year deal. There have been disputes that Byrd demanded a trade, which has caused some tension between the team and the all-star safety. ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter reported last Sunday that the Bills were open to trading him prior to the Oct. 29 trading deadline, something that Buffalo Bills CEO Russ Brandon disputes.
"I don't know where these reports come from," Brandon said via ESPN. "We are not actively seeking a deal. It's the very same situation we talked about a month ago. It's not a topic of conversation in our building."
Some have wondered if Byrd has exaggerated his injury, due to his disputes and reported trade demands.
"Your human nature is that you want to say something," Byrd said. "At the end of the day, you just realize that it's part of this game. They're entitled to their own opinion. I realize why they would be upset. But I'm completely confident in myself and I know where I stand, my character, and what another person says about me isn't going to change who I am."