Oct. 3, 2014 07:45 PM

The injury is another blow to a defense that has struggled this season, ranking 29th in yards allowed.

 

METARIE, La. (AP) - New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton says starting three-time Pro Bowl safety Jairus Byrd has had season-ending knee surgery.

Payton says Byrd injured his lateral meniscus Thursday during practice and had surgery on Friday. Payton, who doesn't normally announce injuries, says Byrd had informed his father, Gill, an assistant with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who the Saints play Sunday.

Byrd was a free agent acquisition during the offseason from Buffalo, where he intercepted 22 passes during his first five years in the league.

In four starts this season, Byrd had yet to intercept a pass but created a turnover with a forced fumble in the season opener at Atlanta.

The injury is another blow to a defense that has struggled this season, ranking 29th in yards allowed.