The Buffalo Bills 2009 2nd round draft pick Jairus Byrd from Oregon, has injured his groin again, requiring surgery and will be out indefinitely.
Byrd, who last year turned heads by recording nine interceptions in just fourteen games, injured his groin in December of last season and missed the rest of the season. He made the pro bowl as a rookie and received the second highest number of votes for Defensive Rookie of the Year, losing to Houston OLB Brian Cushing.
"It looks like he's going to be out for a while," Buffalo head coach Chan Gailey said Wednesday. "We're hoping first game, but it may be not." This is the third time he has had his groin surgically repaired in the last 13 months.
The Bills have already had their share of injury problems during camp, having runningbacks Fred Jackson and Marshawn Lynch go down in the first preseason game, fifth-round pick OT Ed Wang out from an ankle sprain and most recently WR David Nelson from Florida. The Bills played their first preseason game without prominent players such as Paul Posluszny, Eric Wood and Cornell Green.
So, what does the injury to Byrd mean for the Bills? Currently their depth chart lists George Wilson as Byrd's backup, who has played well for the Bills, particularly a year ago. With 12 starts Wilson recorded 103 tackles and four interceptions to go along with his two sacks.
There is no question the Bills will miss Byrd in the lineup. Byrd began the 2009 season as the team's nickel back, showing his versatility, and was slated to be the starting free safety this season. However, with the ability to drop down and cover the slot, Byrd is not easily replaced.
Perhaps most importantly, Byrd is a team-first player, saying that he would gladly trade interceptions for wins. The Bills desperately need leadership, and they desperately need Byrd to get healthy as soon as possible.