WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W.Va. (WGNO) – Safety Jairus Byrd and rookie offensive tackle Tavon Rooks both practiced for the first time Tuesday. Both were taken off the physically unable to perform list.
Byrd signed a $54 million contract with the club in the the first hours of free agency. But, he did not take part in the team’s off-season workouts after undergoing back surgery.
Byrd would not get into the nature of the surgery. Nor, would he say if the Saints knew of the injury when he signed with the club in March.
“I felt good about coming back,” Byrd told reporters Tuesday. “But, like coach Payton said, I want to be smart about it.”
Byrd did not take part in 11 on 11 team drills, but he did participate in 7 on 7 drills.
“We have a plan for him,” said defensive coordinator Rob Ryan. “Whatever the smart thing to do is what we are going to do. We don’t half ass anything. We make sure he is there. And, when he is up to speed. And, that’s how we do it.”
Meantime, wide receiver Nick Toon has according to head coach Sean Payton, done “very well” at camp. Toon missed all of his rookie season with a foot injury.
In 2013, he caught 4 passes for 68 yards. Toon said it was up to him to earn Drew Brees’ trust.
“Drew, Meach, and Colston they have played together for a long time,” said Toon. “It is important for me to build that trust and be consistent, so Drew can trust me.”
The Saints have an off day Wednesday. They return to practice Thursday.
The team will scrimmage Saturday morning.
The Saints open the preseason at St. Louis against the Rams, Friday night August 8th.