NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - When the Saints line up against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers today, they will once again do so without the services of safety Jairus Byrd.
His injury status is certainly not surprising, but his lack of availability has come back to the forefront this week with the season-ending injury to Rafael Bush.
The time has long since passed for a reasonable explanation on where he stands.
Byrd has not even practiced since training camp. In fact, he hasn't even been seen since those bizarre two days in West Virginia when he was doing conditioning work with a hoodie on. He's been absent a total of eight weeks and the longer it lingers, the longer speculation will continue will swirl.
What exactly is the problem? We know it's some sort of knee issue. We don't know anything past that. Was the injury more serious than Byrd and the team originally thought? Was it mishandles by team doctors? Was there a setback in his rehab? Or is it simply that Byrd is taking too long to return and being overly cautious?
These are all legitimate questions that no one in the organization feels like they should answer. They might not even know what those answers are.
The Saints hope he returns before week six. That's why they declined to put him on PUP. Still, there have been no reports of any progress of how he far along he is. Until there is, this mystery will continue to be unsolved.
That's the unfortunate part. When he signed with the Saints last year it was the richest contract in NFL history for a safety. Since then, he's played all of four games.
No one seems to know when he will play his fifth.