Carolina Panthers

Carolina Panthers WR Damiere Byrd trying to get on the fast track

Carolina Panthers wide receiver Damiere Byrd, left, is also an avid track and field fan.
Carolina Panthers wide receiver Damiere Byrd, left, is also an avid track and field fan. jsiner@charlotteobserver.com

By day at Panthers training camp, Damiere Byrd is a play-making receiver trying to earn a final roster spot.

By night, he’s an avid track and field fan who still yearns for his running days.

Byrd is spending the last few nights at training camp in front of the TV in his room or the team’s common area watching the track and field events at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

“Whenever track is on in the Olympics I’m always watching,” Byrd said. “Even if it’s just regular, local meets I’m always watching it if it’s televised.”

Along with playing on the football team, Byrd ran indoor and outdoor track at South Carolina. He clocked a 6.66-second 60-meter dash, which was the fourth-fastest time in school history, in 2013. In high school in New Jersey, he won state championships and even competed overseas in Japan.

He’s taken that speed, added about 15 pounds of muscle and is in position to be one of the final receivers on the roster. Byrd is competing against Kevin Norwood and Brenton Bersin for the fifth receiver spot.

He caught a touchdown pass from Derek Anderson in team period Sunday in the back of the end zone before spiking the ball in celebration.

“I think I’ve done everything that I can to vie for my spot on this team. I just have to keep going out there and making plays,” Byrd said. “Regardless of what happens, I feel that I’ve put out my best resume that I can put out. And I’ll continue to do so. Whatever the chips may fall is really how it’ll go.”

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