Saints' Fairley ruled out for 2017 because of heart symptoms

TAMPA FL- DECEMBER 11 New Orleans Saints defensive end Cameron Jordan and New Orleans Saints defensive end Darryl Tapp during the NFL game between the New Orleans Saints and Tampa Bay Buccaneers

METAIRIE, La. - New Orleans Saints defensive tackle Nick Fairley was placed on season-ending injured reserve Monday, and his career appears to be in jeopardy because of a heart issue.

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. It's unclear if Fairley agrees with the Saints' decision to place him on the non-football injury list or whether he intends to continue trying to play. He racked up 6.5 sacks and 43 tackles. Fairley had the best year of his career with the Saints.

Fairley has played for three different teams since being drafted 13th overall in 2011.

The Saints are not obligated to pay Fairley as long as he's on the reserve/non-football injury list.


Saints coach Sean Payton said earlier this month one of those follow-up exams "saw further concern" and the Saints want to be certain Fairley's life would not be in danger if he were to again play football.

Payton recently said that both Fairley and the team were waiting on the results of a third opinion. He will miss this upcoming season.

The move means the six-year veteran of the NFL will not play in the 2017 football season. They also have 2nd year DT David Onyemata and 3rd year DT Tyeler Davison. He signed with the Saints last offseason after spending four seasons with the Detroit Lions and another with the St. Louis Rams.

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