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Jairus Byrd's injury sounds like season-long headache for player, team

Pro Bowl safety Jairus Byrd, right, is dealing with plantar fasciitis in his foot, which has to do with inflammation of the connective tissue in the sole of the foot. (James P. McCoy/Buffalo News file photo)

By Jay Skurski

Buffalo Bills coach Doug Marrone confirmed Monday that Pro Bowl safety Jairus Byrd is dealing with plantar fasciitis in his foot.

Uh oh.

Plantar fasciitis is an inflammation of the connective tissue on the sole of the foot. According to WebMD, it is caused by straining the ligament that supports the arch of the foot. Repeated strain can cause tiny tears in the ligament, leading to pain and swelling.

There is no "cure" for the injury. Instead, a combination of rest, icing and stretching is most often utilized to treat the condition.

In other words, Byrd's injury is one that could nag him throughout the season. That's bad news for Byrd -- who's playing on a one-year contract and hopes to land a long-tern deal after the season. If he's not 100 percent -- or misses significant playing time -- it could severely damage his earning power.

It's also bad news for coach Doug Marrone, who will likely have to answer questions about Byrd's status on a weekly basis.

"It's really a condition," Marrone said Monday. "Each guy is different in how they come back from it. Right now he's working extremely hard to get back from it. That's more of a day-to-day issue right now."

Marrone said it was a "tough call" to know if Byrd would be ready to play Sunday against the New England Patriots. 

Byrd looked to be limited in how much he was participating during the portion of practice that was open to the media. Marrone said afterward that Byrd did take some team drills, but did not have an exact number.

"I dont want to be held accountable for saying how many he's had, but he's been taking some of the scout team card work," Marrone said. 


Doug Marrone | Jairus Byrd
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About Press Coverage

Tim Graham

Tim Graham

Tim Graham returned to The Buffalo News in 2011 after covering the NFL for three years at ESPN and for one year at the Palm Beach Post. Before that, the Cleveland native spent seven seasons on the Buffalo Sabres beat for The News and was president of the Boxing Writers Association of America.

@ByTimGraham |

Mark Gaughan

Mark Gaughan

Buffalo native Mark Gaughan started working at The News in 1980 and has been covering the Bills exclusively since 1992. He is a former president of the Pro Football Writers of America, and he is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame selection committee.

@gggaughan |

Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski joined The News in January 2009. The Lewiston native attended St. Francis High School before graduating from the University of South Florida. He writes a weekly Fantasy column in addition to his beat writing duties.

@JaySkurski |