METAIRIE, La. (AP) Saints coach Sean Payton says newly acquired safety Jairus Byrd has undergone surgery to address a nagging problem with a disc in his back and is expected to be fully recovered by the start of training camp.
The procedure is preventing Byrd from participating in voluntary offseason practices, which were opened to media for the first time on Thursday.
Payton says the procedure wasn't necessary and that Byrd could have played with his condition, but that the club and player both agreed that taking care of it now ''would prevent any issues in the fall.''
Byrd, signed as a free agent this offseason, has gone to three Pro Bowls in his five NFL seasons, all with Buffalo. He has 22 interceptions, 11 forced fumbles and three sacks in his career.