Byrd, Meachem, Rooks return, WR battle still tight

WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W. Va. -- Jairus Byrd is back.

Until Tuesday, the New Orleans Saints safety had been nothing but a name on the roster after being signed as a free agent this offseason.

But now, finally, the ink has sprung to life. After missing organized team activities and minicamp, Byrd put on his jersey and pads for the first time as a member of the Saints Tuesday morning.

Byrd lined up at safety, taking snaps alongside Rafael Bush, Kenny Vaccaro and Vinnie Sunseri. He sat out some drills later in practice.

Injury report

Wide receiver Robert Meachem (back) and rookie offensive lineman Tavon Rooks (back) also returned to practice.

Wide receiver Kenny Stills (quad) and guard Ben Grubbs (rest/unknown) remain out of action.

Observations

-- CB Terrence Frederick intercepted a deep pass from Luke McCown during 11 vs. 11 drills.

-- Kickers Shayne Graham and Derek Dimke both went 3-for-3 kicking from 33, 33, and 43 yards.

-- Defensive tackle Brandon Deaderick was 0-for-5 in one-on-one drills. Linebacker Rufus Johnson had the best pass rush of the day, using a spin move to beat Thomas Welch.

-- Khiry Robinson continues to catch the eye. Very fluid runner who continues to stand out.

-- Wide receiver Brandin Cooks scored a touchdown on a screen pass from Drew Brees. He beat Corey White, who was lined up at safety, to the end zone. Cooks later made a back-shoulder catch with White in coverage. White was at corner during the second play.

-- Byrd fielded punts later in practice, as did Cooks and Joe Morgan.

-- The battle for the final spots at wide receiver remains tight. Nick Toon, Morgan, Andy Tanner, and Seantavius Jones are in the mix. Jones made a nice leaping catch.

-- Long shot fullback Austin Johnson continues to show good hands. He caught a short pass and turned it up field for a long touchdown. Erik Lorig remains the favorite to win the fullback job.

-- Stanley Jean-Baptiste stripped Toon and recovered the fumble. It was the rookie cornerback's finest moment of camp.