Dec 24, 2011; Orchard Park, NY, USA; Buffalo Bills free safety Jairus Byrd (31) intercepts a pass from Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow (not pictured) and runs it back for a touchdown during the second half at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

Buffalo Bills expect S Jairus Byrd to play

Buffalo Bills safety Jairus Byrd is expected to make his season debut when the Bills host the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday.

“We expect him to be able to play,” Bills head coach Doug Marrone told Mike Rodak of “I’m really excited to see him back out there.”

Marrone held Byrd out of last Thursday’s 37-24 loss to the Cleveland Browns despite Byrd telling the coaches he was ready to play. However, Byrd completely understood Marrone’s decision.

“When he explained it to me — that’s one thing I will give coach Marrone — he definitely took me aside and explained everything to me, his thought process,” Byrd said. “Hats off to him for that.”

Byrd was named to the Pro Bowl in 2012 after making 76 tackles, intercepting five passes, defending six, forcing four fumbles and recovering two.

Byrd was originally a second round pick (42nd overall) out of Oregon by the Bills in 2009. In four years with the team, Byrd has 308 tackles, 18 interceptions, 27 passes defended, 10 forced fumbles and five fumble recoveries.

The Bills and Bengals kick off at 1:00 pm EST Sunday.

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