The New Orleans Saints have placed defensive tackle Nick Fairley on the reserve/non-football-injury list, a roster move that means he won’t play again this year. Fairley suffers from a heart condition, and had been consulting with outside doctors to determine his fitness to continue to play football.
The move comes at a difficult time, career-wise, for Fairley. He had just recorded his best season as a pro, totaling 43 tackles and 6.5 sacks, and as a result signed a four-year, $28 million extension.
Fairley had sought the advice of medical professionals, and at least one had recommended he quit football altogether. Another had given a more optimistic prognosis, and Fairley was consulting with a third. Based on the results of that examination, it appears the Saints did not wish to continue forward with Fairley on the active roster next year.
Fairley is still owed $8 million from his initial contract, and he’ll be able to collect that, since his heart condition was known dating all the way back to his 2011 combine visit. He was drafted by the Detroit Lions and played for the then-St. Louis Rams prior to joining New Orleans, and had passed every physical he’d ever taken in the NFL.
Jay Busbee is a writer for Yahoo Sports and the author of EARNHARDT NATION, on sale now at Amazon or wherever books are sold. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or find him on Twitter or on Facebook.