Teams aren’t required to say anything about player injuries until the Wednesday before the first regular-season game. The Lions have provided quite the tease more than three months before having to spill the beans.
Coach Jim Caldwell said Tuesday that defensive tackle Nick Fairley, the team’s first-round pick in 2011, will miss Organized Team Activities due to a “medical issue” for which Fairly “had a procedure,” via Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press.
Caldwell didn’t specify the condition or the procedure; Birkett reports that Fairley has been dealing with sleep apnea.
Whatever it is, it’s enough to keep Fairley away from offseason practice sessions in what has become his contract year, thanks to the team’s decision not to exercise his fifth-year option. Without knowing more about his condition or prognosis, it’s impossible to rule out the notion that the Lions opted not to extend his contract through 2015 for reasons other than providing him with motivation in 2014.