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Damiere Byrd inches closer to return


CHARLOTTE – It's not like we needed a reminder of how tough Thomas Davis is as a player, but Damiere Byrd gave us one Monday.

Byrd, who returned to practice for the first time since he broke his left arm against the Patriots in Week 4, revealed his injury and subsequent surgery were similar to what Davis dealt two years ago when he played in the Super Bowl just two weeks after breaking his arm in the NFC Championship. 

"To go through it and know how you feel two weeks out, to be able to go play and tackle people and do the type of things that he does … ," Byrd said, shaking his head. 

Davis played every defensive snap and made seven tackles against the Broncos while wearing a 3D-printed brace. Byrd doesn't have something as high-tech, but the wide receiver has been fitted with a carbon fiber protective sleeve to protect the bone while it's still healing. 

"It's a little bit of an adjustment," Byrd said, "but as far as catch-wise and wrist-wise, me being able to move it – everything's fine."

The Panthers have to wait at least one more week before Byrd is eligible to come off injured reserve, but for a team that recently lost second-round pick Curtis Samuel to an ankle injury, Byrd could provide a much-needed injection of speed. 

"You never know what would happen from Week 4 to Week 12 or 13, so it kind of worked out pretty well," he said. "At the end of the day, I just wanted to have a chance to come back and right now it looks like I have that. So I'm happy for it and ready to be back playing." 

But could he have done a Davis and returned in just two weeks?  

"No," Byrd quickly replied. "His situation was a lot different. It was the Super Bowl and he's TD. I'm not TD."

View practice photos from the week leading up to the Panthers' game against the Jets.

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