Nov. 15, 2012; Orchard Park, NY, USA; Buffalo Bills free safety Jairus Byrd (31) runs the ball after a fumble recovery against the Miami Dolphins at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports
The Buffalo Bills’ defensive backfield is slowly but surely getting healthier. Jairus Byrd will play this week and there is also a chance that Stephon Gilmore and Ron Brooks could be back in the lineup as well.
Byrd was able to play to play in Thursdays loss to the Cleavland Browns but was held out of the game by head coach Doug Marrone. Marrone explained his reasoning for keeping Byrd out of the game to him and Byrd, while disappointed that he would not be playing understood what the coach was saying and there are no problems between the player and coach. Byrd had the following to say on buffalobills.com.
“When he explained it to me, that’s one thing I will give Coach Marrone, he took me aside and explained everything to me his thought process,” said Byrd. “Hats off to him for that. I understood, after he explained it to me. I’m a competitor, I want to be out there, but I understand.”
Marrone has no problems with what has transpired with Byrd since the beginning of the season. He had this to say on buffalobills.com
“I have no questions whatsoever on that,” said Marrone. “I don’t think his mind was anywhere else outside of getting himself better. He would be better at answering that question, but from my perspective what I saw was a player coming back and the kid is working hard to get back on that field and that’s what I saw. I never saw anything else except him working on the injury.”
Byrd is being worked in on sub packages during practice so far this week, but depending on how quickly he picks everything up and shows the coaching staff that he has it, he may end up starting on Sunday.
Stephon Gilmore is more of a game time decision for Sunday as is Ron Brooks. They are both practicing this week on a limited basis. Gilmore has not been cleared to play yet by the Bills medical staff. He practiced today with a large club like brace on his wrist. He just had the pins removed from his wrist on Tuesday so if he does play it will probably be on a limited basis with the club on his wrist. Having him roaming the sidelines even on a limited basis would be a great sight for Bills fans.
Brooks also has not been cleared to play yet but has made a lot of progress recovering from a broken foot. He is aiming to play on Sunday if the medical staff will let him.
Coach Marrone has said that he will not say that all or any of these players will be playing on Sunday but that he feels really good about all of them playing. With Leodis McKelvin returning last week most of the pieces are falling back into place.
I think all of us will feel really good if we start seeing all these guys out on the field in our defensive backfield.
This defense has done a good job of holding it together while missing some of it’s best players. It will be fun to see how good this D can be with all of it`s parts.