TORONTO – Buffalo Bills starting safety Jairus Byrd is out indefinitely and could miss the season opener after having surgery for the third time in 13 months to repair a groin injury.
Coach Chan Gailey announced the news after the Bills arrived in Toronto on Wednesday, a day before they face Indianapolis in a preseason game. Gailey said it's unclear whether Byrd will be ready to play Sept. 12 when Buffalo opens the season against Miami.
"It looks like he's going to be out for a while," Gailey said. "We're hoping first game, but it may be not."
Gailey said the injury is related to the groin injury that ended Byrd's season last year. Byrd had surgery to repair the injury this past offseason. And that followed an operation he had to repair a sports hernia last summer, which forced him to miss the first three weeks of training camp.
Gailey said Byrd's groin had been bothering him during training camp, and it grew worse after practice Monday night. Byrd had been absent from practice on Tuesday.
Byrd is coming off a solid rookie season last year. The second-round draft pick out of Oregon finished tied for the NFL lead with nine interceptions despite playing just 14 games. Byrd also set franchise records with an interception in five straight games and most interceptions by a rookie.
His performance led to him becoming the first Bills safety to earn a Pro Bowl selection in his rookie year.
Updating other injuries, Gailey said the right leg injury sustained by rookie receiver David Nelson in practice on Tuesday was not as bad as initially feared. Gailey said it's possible that Nelson could play in Buffalo's next preseason game Aug. 28 against Cincinnati.
Nelson had to be carted off the field during practice after he twisted his right ankle while making a catch.
Gailey said it's likely starting left tackle Demetrius Bell and starting right guard Eric Wood will play Thursday. Both have spent the offseason recovering from leg injuries and were held out of Buffalo's preseason-opener at Washington last week.
It's also likely that veteran linebackers Paul Posluszny and Chris Kelsay will play against the Colts. Posluszny began practicing two weeks ago after having groin surgery last month, while Kelsay missed a few weeks of training camp with a shoulder injury.