Rookie notes: WR Byrd recovering from accident

Demetrius Byrd works out during the 2009 NFL Scouting Combine. (Michael Conroy / Associated Press)

Former LSU WR Demetrius Byrd worked out at the NFL Scouting Combine in February, but he was injured in a car accident right before the draft. (Michael Conroy / Associated Press)

Two weeks ago, former LSU WR Demetrius Byrd was just another NFL draft hopeful. But his draft status and football career were put in jeopardy after he was involved in a car accident while on his way to pick up his mom for church.

Byrd went to the hospital to be examined for head injuries and was treated for cuts and bruises. He was then released.

Despite the accident, the San Diego Chargers selected Byrd in the seventh round of the draft with the 224th overall pick.

Byrd is still recovering from the accident and didn’t attend the Chargers’ minicamp last weekend. Through his agent, Byrd sounded upbeat in comments to Chargers.com, saying he felt “blessed to be alive.”

    “Now that I have survived an accident and was drafted by the Chargers, I have so much motivation to play with this team,” Byrd recently said through his agent, David Dunn. “I appreciate the Chargers for recognizing my hard work and helping me live out this dream. I promise you that I will work hard every day on and off the field. …
    “Getting drafted gave me a lot of encouragement, especially since I’ve been looking forward to this day ever since I started playing football,” Byrd said. “I’m ready for the NFL.”

Here are more rookie stories that surfaced over the weekend:

  • Among the players at Broncos minicamp was DE Rulon Davis, a former Marine and veteran of the Iraq war. Davis, who played in college at California, spent six months in Iraq in 2004 as part of his four-year military commitment. More from the Denver Post.
  • Cricket, soccer and ice hockey? Those were Vaughn Martin‘s preferred sports when he was growing up. Martin, who grew up in Jamaica before relocating to Canada, didn’t start playing football until 10th grade, but the Chargers liked what they saw and made the defensive tackle a fourth-round pick (No. 113 overall). More from the San Diego Union-Tribune.
  • J’Nathan Bullock, an invitee to Jets camp, had another sport hold his interest. Bullock played basketball at Cleveland State, scoring 1,800 points. He decided to pursue a career in football as a tight end after his basketball team’s season ended in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. The Jets hope they have found another Antonio Gates, who also starred on the hardwood in college before becoming an elite tight end with the Chargers. More from the Newark Star-Ledger.
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