After several visits with doctors to hear opinions about defensive tackle Nick Fairley’s heart condition, the Saints made the call to put Fairley on the non-football illness list late last month.
General Manager Mickey Loomis didn’t delve into the details of the condition as they are for Fairley to disclose, but that it was the team’s feeling “you shouldn’t play” based on the information they got from doctors. The end result is that Fairley will not play for the Saints in 2017, which wasn’t what the team had in mind after re-signing Fairley to a four-year deal after he turned in an impressive performance last year.
“He had really maybe his best season ever last year,” Loomis told Jeff Duncan and Larry Holder on Sports 1280, via the New Orleans Times-Picayune. “We were counting on him and looking forward to having him on our team going forward. So this has been difficult. More difficult on him obviously than any of us, but it’s difficult on our team, too. Nick is well-liked, he’s a good teammate, a good player and not having him on our roster this year puts us in a little bit of a bind and it’s a difficult situation but we are mostly concerned about him.”
The Saints appear set to move into training camp with the other defensive tackles that were already on hand, although a trade and/or waiver claim could become a possibility as rosters start to solidify around the league.