A Tribute to Dennis Byrd


Tomorrow afternoon, the Jets will honor one of their own. They will retire Dennis Byrd’s number 90 at halftime of the game against the Dolphins. A true warrior that came in a Jet, and will always be a Jet. Let’s take a brief look back:

Dennis was born and bred in Oklahoma, attending the University of Tulsa. The Jets drafted Byrd in the second round of the 1989 draft, with the 42nd pick overall.

He played 3 plus seasons for the Jets, and was quite the talented pass rusher. In three full seasons for the team, he recorded 27 sacks. In 1992, he recorded 1 sack prior to that fateful day. The date was November 29, 1992, when Dennis Byrd collided with Scott Mersereau as they were rushing Kansas City quarterback Dave Krieg. Mersereau walked away, Byrd did not, as he was paralyzed.

He vowed to walk again, against all odds, and did, walking to mid-field as an honorary captain for the 1993 home opener. He told his inspirational story in an autobiography, and has been an inspiration to many ever since. The Jets have not reissued his number since 1992, and at halftime tomorrow afternoon, they will make it official that they never will again.

One of the most inspirational moments for the Jets was prior to the 2010 playoff game against the New England Patriots. Dennis Byrd reached out to the team for an inspiring speech, and gave them his game jersey, which they walked out to the middle of the field for the coin toss. Check it out here:

A true Jet in every sense of the word, and well deserving of this honor tomorrow, Dennis Byrd.

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