Saints place DT Nick Fairley on reserve/non-football illness (NFI) list

Posted June 27, 2017

New Orleans Saints defensive tackle Nick Fairley has officially been placed on the team's reserve/non-football illness list, general manager Mickey Loomis announced Monday.

The former SEC Defensive Player of the Year (2010) has seen multiple specialists this offseason regarding a heart condition after the team noticed an irregularity in March when he took a physical to sign a new contract.

Fairley was diagnosed with a heart condition this off-season, shortly after signing a four-year, $28 million contract with New Orleans.

Despite having the league's best offense in terms of yards in 2016, the Saints missed the playoffs for a third straight season.

Fairley has played for three different teams since being drafted 13th overall in 2011. He was drafted by the Detroit Lions in 2011 before joining the Saints past year.

The 29-year-old Fairley enjoyed his best National Football League season in 2016, when he set career-highs with 43 tackles and 6.5 sacks.

Neither the Saints nor Fairley or his representatives have commented on the decision.

With Fairley out, the Saints will lean on Sheldon Rankins, David Onyemata and Tyeler Davison as their top interior defenders. Little more than a week ago, the Saints learned that their highest-paid offensive lineman, left tackle Terron Armstead, needed shoulder surgery that would sideline him four to six months, or at least about half of the regular season.

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