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Jairus Byrd avoids PUP list, could return any time

Lost in the bedlam of Saturday's cuts deadline was some subtextual good news for the New Orleans Saints.

Safety Jairus Byrd was not placed on the team's reserve/physically unable to perform list. He's on the active roster and can return to the field at any time.

The move indicates the Saints believe the high-priced safety will play within six weeks -- the earliest he would have been eligible to return if placed on the PUP list. Per the Times-Picayune, Byrd has been dealing with swelling in his knee, likely related to the torn meniscus that wiped out most of his 2014 season.

NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport noted Byrd has been steadily improving from injury, though we didn't see him the entirety of preseason.

While theoretically New Orleans could still put Byrd on IR with a designation to return, that move would make little to no sense for the organization -- teams began placing players on IR Boomerang Sunday. Given that Byrd was eligible for the PUP list -- since he didn't practice during training camp -- using their one IR Boomerang designation on him would be foolish. Saving that for a player such as linebacker Dannell Ellerbe, corner Keenan Lewis or a future injury makes more logical sense.

The implication of the Saints not placing Byrd on PUP means the team believes he'll see the field within the next six weeks, which is great news for a depleted, underwhelming defensive unit. Rob Ryan needs all the help he can get.

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