New Orleans Saints

Nick Fairley will be sidelined for 2017 season, Saints say

Nick Fairley watches from the bench during a 2016 against the Carolina Panthers. The New Orleans Saints announced Monday that Fairley has been placed on the team’s reserve/non-football illness list.
Nick Fairley watches from the bench during a 2016 against the Carolina Panthers. The New Orleans Saints announced Monday that Fairley has been placed on the team’s reserve/non-football illness list. AP File

New Orleans Saints announced Monday that DT Nick Fairley has been placed on the team’s reserve/non-football illness (NFI) list.

On June 3, The Advocate’s Nick Underhill reported that Fairley missed organized team activities because of a heart issue.

Fairley played the past six NFL seasons with an enlarged heart, a condition diagnosed during a routine physical exam at the NFL combine prior to the 2011 draft. It was reported June 10 that a red flag was raised after physical examinations by Saints doctors and at least one heart specialist, all agreeing things changed over a 12-month period.

One such specialist has recommended that Fairley, 6-feet-4, 310 pounds, should not play football again.

Fairley, a native of Mobile and product of Auburn University, is a six-year veteran of the NFL who has played in 77 regular season games, making 170 tackles (113 solo and 57 assists), 20.5 sacks, three passes defensed and registered one career safety.

Fairley was a first-round draft selection of Detroit in 2011 and spent the first four seasons of his NFL career with the Lions. He signed as an undrafted free agent with the St. Louis Rams in 2014 before signed as a free agent with the Saints in 2016.

Last season, Fairley played in 16 games and amassed 43 tackles and a career-high 6.5 sacks.

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