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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 said his "eating habits have gotten in the way the past couple weeks," and he's now up to 315 pounds.
This explains why Fairley is running with the second-team defense, instead of next to Ndamukong Suh with the starters. Fairley wants to play at 305. In fairness to Fairley, the Lions have been all over the map with where they want his playing weight. Earlier in the year, he was too light, but now he's too heavy. It should only be a matter of time before he's back with the No. 1 defense. Aug 20 - 1:08 PM

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Date:

Lions DT Nick Fairley will remain with the second-team defense this week.

The Lions are tired of Fairley's inability to stay in shape. C.J. Mosley will begin the week with the 1s. Although we'd expect Fairley to regain his starting job at some point before Week 1, he's going to be on a short leash this season. The Lions have had enough of his act.
Aug 18 - 1:19 PM

Lions DT Nick Fairley worked mostly with the second-team defense in Detroit's second preseason game.

Fairley was demoted to the twos in practice and has yet to regain his starting spot. Fairley looked sluggish against Oakland, only recording one tackle and not getting any push. C.J. Mosley had three tackles starting in Fairley's place. Fairley will likely regain his job at some point, but his inability to keep weight off and apparent lack of effort are big concerns in a contract year.
Aug 16 - 10:28 AM

Lions DT Nick Fairley continued to run with the second-team defense during Tuesday night's practice.

An apparently motivated Fairley dropped nearly 30 pounds for the start of minicamp. But during the six-week break before training camp, he put 10 pounds right back on and appears to have continued to pack on the tonnage. Fairley's inability to control his weight even as he enters a contract year is concerning.
Source: MLive.com
Aug 13 - 8:00 AM

Lions DT Nick Fairley worked with the second-team defense at Monday's practice.

Coach Jim Caldwell cautions to not read too much into the "demotion," but did say "he could be better." Fairley is still working to get to a "comfortable weight." The Lions asked Fairley to slim down following last season. He's now apparently too light. Fairley's entering his contract year. The coaches want more from him. He's fully expected to line up as the starter next to Ndamukong Suh.
Aug 11 - 9:51 PM

Nick Fairley was sentenced Thursday to one-year probation and a suspended six-month jail term stemming from a 2012 DUI.

It's a standard sentence for first-time offenders, and ensures Fairley avoids time behind bars as long as he keeps his nose clean. It remains unclear if the slimmed-down defensive tackle will face punishment from the league. Fairley's attorney did say he will be filing an appeal.
Aug 1 - 11:01 AM

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

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

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
3Jeremy Ross
4T.J. Jones
WR21Golden Tate
2Kris Durham
3Ryan Broyles
4Corey Fuller
5Pat Edwards
WR31Kevin Ogletree
TE1Brandon Pettigrew
2Eric Ebron
3Joseph Fauria
4Jordan Thompson
5Jacob Maxwell
K1Nate Freese
2Giorgio Tavecchio