Carolina knew it would miss veteran experience with the loss of safety Kurt Coleman, who sprained his left MCL Sunday against New England and will need a month to recover.
So the team signed free agent safety Jairus Byrd on Tuesday. Byrd was a second-round pick of the Buffalo Bills in 2009 and was most recently with the New Orleans Saints. He was released in the spring after playing three years of a six-year contract.
Byrd has 25 interceptions and 13 forced fumbles in his career.
According to the Panthers’ team website, Carolina mulled over Byrd, 30, this training camp when the safety worked out for the team.
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The corresponding move for the Panthers was to place receiver Damiere Byrd on injured reserve. Byrd broke his arm in Sunday’s game.
Jairus Byrd will be backed up at safety by Demetrious Cox.
Teams may bring two players back from injured reserve if they so choose, which was approved by the league this spring. Carolina will bring back Greg Olsen after he recovers from a broken foot. He is eligible to return to practice six weeks from the day he was placed on injured reserve, and may play in a game at eight weeks (Carolina’s game at New York against the Jets).
Linebacker Jeremy Cash is also on injured reserve, but a report by Jonathan Jones of Sports Illustrated said Cash would be released by the team and receive an injury settlement, leaving an opportunity for Byrd to come off IR later this year.