Byrd release doesn't mean he's healthy

April, 4, 2014
Apr 4
5:40
PM ET
The Arizona Cardinals released two players Friday afternoon, but they wouldn't have been a speck on the NFL personnel radar.

Wide receiver LaRon Byrd and linebacker Dan Giordano were cut after neither played a down in 2013. Byrd was on injured reserve with a concussion and the ensuing effects, while Giordano was on the physically unable to perform list with a toe injury.

But just because Byrd was released, doesn't mean he's healthy. According to NFL rules, a player isn't allowed to be released during the season if he's on injured reserve unless he and the team agree to an injury settlement. Once the new league year began March 11, however, all players who finished the 2013 season on injured reserved were activated from IR, meaning they were eligible to be released.

When Byrd was signed by Arizona in 2012, he was being compared to Larry Fitzgerald because of his body structure and his looks. He played in three games as a rookie before suffering a concussion early in training camp. It was clearly severe enough and the symptoms lasted long enough to keep him off the field and away from the team for the duration of the season. If not, he would've been a good fit as a fourth or fifth receiver.

It's never easy to see a young player watch his season -- and possibly his career -- end because of a head injury. The Cardinals released Byrd because they could and he wasn't going to be an asset to the team anymore, and that's just part of the game. But there's a good chance Byrd is still suffering from the concussion and that's never a good thing.

Josh Weinfuss

ESPN Arizona Cardinals reporter

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