Byrd caught all five of his targets for 37 yards in Sunday's 31-24 win over the Vikings.
Byrd hadn't hauled in more than one pass in any of his six career games entering Sunday, so his five-catch outing certainly surpassed expectations. With the Panthers looking for help outside of Devin Funchess at wide receiver, it'll be interesting to see if the second-year pro can carve out a meaningful role over the final three regular-season games.
Byrd caught one of his two targets for 12 yards in Sunday's 31-21 loss to the Saints.
Byrd's appearance was his first since Week 4, and although his impact mirrored that of Brenton Bersin and Kaelin Clay, there isn't enough target volume for the latter portion of the Panthers' wideout depth chart to enable any option to become a significant fantasy commodity.
Byrd (forerarm) will be activated to the 53-man roster for Sunday's game in New Orleans, Joe Person of The Charlotte Observer reports.
Any concerns about the availability of a roster spot went out the window Friday when it was announced that DE Charles Johnson will be suspended the next four games. Byrd likely would've been activated anyway, as the Panthers need all the help they can get at wide receiver after trading Kelvin Benjamin and losing Curtis Samuel to a season-ending ankle injury. Byrd could push for the No. 2 or 3 receiver job in the coming weeks, as the Panthers don't have any reliable contributors behind top dog Devin Funchess. The competition consists of Russell Shepard, Brenton Bersin and Kaelin Clay, all of whom were acquired with special teams at least partially in mind. Byrd lacks size and pedigree, but his first-rate speed could quickly add a missing element to Carolina's offense.
The Panthers already have designated Byrd and Greg Olsen (foot) as their two players to return from injured reserve. While he'll likely have a limited role in terms of snaps and targets, Byrd could be a crucial addition for a Carolina offense that currently lacks a true deep threat. He could also get the occasional carry on end-arounds, perhaps taking on some of the work that was going to Curtis Samuel (ankle) before the rookie second-round pick suffered a season-ending injury. While not an exact replacement for his teammate, Byrd can do some of the same things.
Along with Byrd, tight end Greg Olsen (foot) also received a designation, with the latter first eligible to return for Sunday's game against the Jets. Byrd, on the other hand, will have to wait until the Week 13 game against the Saints in order to suit up for the first time since breaking his forearm in a Week 4 win over the Patriots. Though Byrd was able to resume practicing Monday, he'll need to prove to the Panthers in his subsequent sessions over the next two weeks that he's fully recovered from surgery to address the injury. If Byrd checks out fine and gets activated, he could have a role as a depth receiver for a Panthers squad that has traded away top wideout Kelvin Benjamin and lost Curtis Samuel (ankle) to a season-ending injury in the time since Byrd landed on IR.
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