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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
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Recent News

Lions DT Nick Fairley reported to training camp at 305 pounds, down 15 from this time last year.
He's up ten pounds from his minicamp weight, although that appears to be by design. It's worth noting Fairley's 2011 Scouting Combine weigh-in was 6-foot-4, 291. Still only 26, Fairley is entering the final year of his rookie deal. He's collected 12.5 sacks and three forced fumbles through three seasons. Jul 27 - 2:10 PM

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Date:

Lions DT Nick Fairley is recovering from an operation to "help with his sleep apnea."

The operation was disclosed in mid-May, but the nature of it was not. From a football standpoint, it's good news. Now down to 295 pounds, Fairley is getting his ducks in a row as he attempts to go off in a contract year.
Jun 2 - 4:13 PM

Lions DT Nick Fairley slimmed down to 295 pounds this offseason.

That is 27 lighter than he finished last season. The Lions chose not to exercise Fairley's fifth-year option partially because of his weight issues and partially to send a message to the young defensive lineman. It seems the message got through. Fairley is currently recovering from an undisclosed operation. If he gets healthy, he could be primed for a huge contract year.
May 31 - 10:23 AM

Lions DT Nick Fairley is recovering from an undisclosed operation, and not participating in OTAs.

Coach Jim Caldwell would only disclose that Fairley is dealing with a "medical issue." Perhaps he had an appendectomy. The news comes three weeks after the Lions declined to exercise Fairley's fifth-year team option. Issues like this are the precise reason why Fairley is being forced to play out his rookie deal. Often injured and out of shape, it's unclear when Fairley will be ready to return.
May 20 - 7:07 PM

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

MLive.com'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.
Source: MLive.com
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

Depth Charts

Skill Players
PosRoleName
QB1Matthew Stafford
2Dan Orlovsky
3Kellen Moore
4James Franklin
RB1Reggie Bush
2Joique Bell
3Theo Riddick
4Mikel Leshoure
5Steven Miller
GLB1Reggie Bush
2Joique Bell
3RB1Reggie Bush
2Joique Bell
FB1Jed Collins
2Montell Owens
3Chad Abram
WR11Calvin Johnson
2Kevin Ogletree
3T.J. Jones
4Jeremy Ross
5Reese Wiggins
WR21Golden Tate
2Kris Durham
3Ryan Broyles
4Corey Fuller
5Pat Edwards
WR31Kris Durham
TE1Brandon Pettigrew
2Eric Ebron
3Joseph Fauria
4Jordan Thompson
5Jacob Maxwell
K1Nate Freese
2Giorgio Tavecchio