The magical rookie season for Jairus Byrd has come to a premature close. Playing with a nagging groin injury for the past two months, the free safety's body has finally forced him to shut things down with two games left in the season.
For Byrd missing the last two games robs him of an opportunity to tie the franchise record for most interceptions in a season. He finishes his rookie year with nine interceptions, which is a record for most INTs by a rookie in team history. Byrd needed one more INT to match the record of 10 set by Billy Atkins (1962) and Tom Janik (1967).
The rookie is believed to have a good shot at being named as an AFC representative to the Pro Bowl as he leads the league in interceptions. Whether or not he would be fit to play in that game of course is undetermined in light of his injury situation.
Byrd becomes the record 18th player to go on injured reserve for the Bills surpassing the previous high of 17 in 2007. The Bills had matched that mark Tuesday with Terrence McGee going on the injured reserve list with a shoulder injury.
LB Stamer signedFilling the roster spot left vacant by Byrd was veteran linebacker Josh Stamer. The seven-year veteran spent his first five seasons in the league with the Bills appearing in 70 games and serving mainly on special teams.
Stamer was most recently with the Cleveland Browns appearing in two games just last month before being waived by the club on Nov. 24. He spent the 2008 season with Tennessee.
The veteran will provide valuable insurance at the linebacker position with Bryan Scott not expected to play this week after suffering a concussion last Sunday in the loss to the Patriots.
Practice squad additionThe Bills added further linebacker depth by signing Ryan Manalac to their practice squad. Manalac was a training camp signee of the club this past summer, and played in the preseason for Buffalo, but did not make the final roster.
Manalac (6'0", 235) went undrafted last spring after a productive career at the University of Cincinnati. A former walk-on, the Pickerington, OH native was a two-year starter for the Bearcats with experience at both outside and middle linebacker.
He lined up at middle linebacker during training camp with Buffalo.