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Nick Fairley | Defensive Lineman

Team: Detroit Lions
Age / DOB:  (26) / 1/23/1988
Ht / Wt:  6'4' / 298
College: Auburn
Contract: view contract details

Latest News

Recent News

The Lions will not exercise DT Nick Fairley's fifth-year option for 2015.
It means he'll be eligible for unrestricted free agency next offseason. According to the team's official website, GM Martin Mayhew wants Fairley motivated for 2015, and doesn't believe he's a "$5.5 million player right now." The No. 13 overall pick of the 2011 draft, Fairley has dealt with weight and injury issues. A consistent and healthy 2014 could still result in a monster payday. Mar 24 - 1:32 PM

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Player News

Date:'s Kyle Meinke believes Lions DT Nick Fairley's weight had reached "at least" 320 by late last season.

Meinke observed Fairley playing with a "sizable belly." Fairley is listed at 6'3/291 on the Lions' website and measured 6-foot-3 7/8, 291 at the 2011 Combine. GM Martin Mayhew recently reiterated he wants Fairley's work ethic to improve. "I'd like to see his commitment to the offseason program improve, and see him on a consistent basis," said Mayhew. "It's voluntary, but if he's not training with us, I'd like to see him training somewhere." 2014 is Fairley's contract year.
Mar 3 - 12:56 PM

Lions GM Martin Mayhew says DT Nick Fairley could stand to "reposition" some weight.

Fairley is listed at 6-foot-3, 291 on the team's official website. The number is fine, but Fairley's belly was noticeably larger than it was just a couple years ago at Auburn. He still had a heck of a 2013 season, starting a career-high 15 games and posting new career-bests in tackles (35) and sacks (6). Fairley has one year left on his rookie deal, though the Lions hold a 2015 option.
Jan 20 - 8:58 PM

Lions DT Nick Fairley finished his third NFL season with career highs in tackles (35), sacks (6.0), and starts (15), also registering two forced fumbles.

Turning 26 later this month, Fairley turned in a true breakout campaign, finishing No. 15 overall in Pro Football Focus' defensive tackle pass-rush ratings. Teammate Ndamukong Suh was No. 2. Fairley needs to cut down on his penalties -- he was flagged 13 times in 2013 -- but he's already a star. The Lions' defensive line remains the team's primary strength entering the offseason.
Jan 7 - 7:44 AM

Lions DT Nick Fairley (shoulder) is inactive for Week 2 at Arizona.

Although he was listed as questionable, Fairley's inactivity is surprising because he practices on Friday. He'll be replaced by Justin Bannan next to Ndamukong Suh. In addition to Fairley, Detroit's Week 2 inactives are QB Kellen Moore, RB Mikel Leshoure, S Don Carey, G Leroy Harris, RT Jason Fox, and WR Ryan Broyles.
Sun, Sep 15, 2013 02:41:00 PM

Lions DT Nick Fairley (shoulder) returned to practice Friday.

Fairley missed practice both Wednesday and Thursday. He's listed as questionable, but is on track to play after returning on a limited basis Friday.
Fri, Sep 13, 2013 08:15:00 PM

Teammate Stephen Tulloch is impressed with Lions DT Nick Fairley's offseason.

"He’s slim, he’s focused, and he’s about his business," Tulloch said of Fairley. "He’s going into his third year, he’s taking a step, he’s grown as a player, he’s put all that negative stuff behind him, and he’s moving forward." According to Tulloch, Fairley talks about going to the Super Bowl "every day." If Fairley can stay healthy and keep his head on straight, he has All-Pro ability.
Fri, Apr 19, 2013 10:58:00 AM

Coach Jim Schwartz says the Lions are going to "rely even more" on DT Nick Fairley this upcoming season.

Fairley had an outstanding 2012 sophomore season that saw him register 34 tackles, 5.5 sacks, and two forced fumbles, but he played in just over 500 defensive snaps due to injury. The top defensive tackles participate in about 900 snaps a season. Fairley has also started just seven games in two years. That's going to change with Corey Williams and Sammie Lee Hill now out of the picture.
Sun, Mar 24, 2013 10:09:00 AM

Lions DT Nick Fairley is ineligible for a pre-trial diversion program on charges stemming from his May 2012 arrest for DUI.

That's because the court had already dropped misdemeanor marijuana charges against the trouble-making defensive tackle. He's now at the court's whim. Fairley will still likely avoid jail time, but it's not a guarantee.
Fri, Mar 22, 2013 12:19:00 PM

Lions players voted DT Nick Fairley the team's most improved player following his breakout 2012 season.

The 13th overall pick in the 2011 draft, Fairley improved from 15 tackles and one sack to 34 tackles, 5.5 sacks, and two forced fumbles in his sophomore NFL season. Pro Football Focus graded Fairley as the fifth best defensive tackle in all of football this past season. He was one of the few bright spots during a tumultuous 2012 season for the Lions' organization.
Fri, Jan 11, 2013 04:43:00 PM

Lions placed DT Nick Fairley (shoulder) on injured reserve, ending his season.

Fairley finally flashed difference-making ability over the second half of the season, racking up 23 tackles and four sacks over his last five games. It's an encouraging development for the Lions with Corey Williams set to hit free agency this offseason. Fairley will return as a building block next to Ndamukong Suh.
Wed, Dec 19, 2012 11:16:00 AM

Lions DT Nick Fairley (shoulder) has missed practice all week and is officially doubtful for Week 15.

It's looking extremely unlikely that Fairly suits up against the Cardinals. Fairley suffered a shoulder injury with two minutes to play in the Lions' loss to the Green Bay Packers last weekend. Sammie Hill is expected to start in Fairley’s place alongside Ndamukong Suh on Sunday, and the Lions re-signed Andre Fluellen for insurance earlier this week.
Sat, Dec 15, 2012 10:52:00 AM

Lions DT Nick Fairley is undergoing tests after injuring his shoulder late in Sunday night's loss.

Fairley got shaken up near the end of Detroit's 27-20 loss, though it's unclear how many plays he missed. Fairley has a long injury history, but not with his upper body. For now, he should be considered questionable for Week 15.
Mon, Dec 10, 2012 02:34:00 PM

Prosecutors in Mobile, Alabama dropped a misdemeanor marijuana charge against Lions DT Nick Fairley.

Prosecutors couldn't prove that the marijuana and herb grinder in Fairley's Cadillac Escalade were his. He still faces a felony charge of driving under the influence from a May incident where he was driving over 100 mph in Alabama.
Tue, Dec 4, 2012 01:14:00 PM

Coach Jim Schwartz isn't ready to commit to Nick Fairley as the starter over Corey Williams going forward.

Fairley has emerged as Detroit's most disruptive defensive player over the past month while Williams has battled a lingering knee injury. "There's not a whole lot of distinction between who the starter is and who is not," Schwartz said. Fairley played a career-high 62 snaps versus the Texans in Week 12.
Fri, Nov 30, 2012 10:21:00 AM

Depth Charts

Skill Players
QB1Matthew Stafford
2Dan Orlovsky
3Kellen Moore
RB1Reggie Bush
2Joique Bell
3Theo Riddick
4Mikel Leshoure
5Steven Miller
GLB1Reggie Bush
2Joique Bell
3RB1Reggie Bush
2Joique Bell
FB1Jed Collins
2Montell Owens
WR11Calvin Johnson
2Kevin Ogletree
3Pat Edwards
4Jeremy Ross
WR21Golden Tate
2Kris Durham
3Ryan Broyles
4Corey Fuller
5Cody Wilson
WR31Kris Durham
TE1Brandon Pettigrew
2Joseph Fauria
3Michael Williams
4Dorin Dickerson
5Matt Veldman
K1Giorgio Tavecchio
2John Potter