sistaff
Thursday October 6th, 2011

Nick Fairley was thought to be a top-5 pick in last April's draft, but the Lions got him at No. 12 overall. (CSM/Landov)

As if the 4-0 Detroit Lions, one of the darlings of the early NFL season, needed any more positive mojo ...

Rookie defensive tackle Nick Fairley, who has not played so much as a preseason game for the Lions this year because of a foot injury, reportedly will suit up Monday night, when Detroit hosts the Bears in a national TV affair.

Detroit took Fairley No. 12 overall, despite spending the No. 2 overall pick in 2010 on Ndamukong Suh and trading for Corey Williams.

Even without Fairley, the much-improved Lions 'D' currently sits eighth in the league in points allowed, at just 18 per game. Detroit holds that spot, despite picking up just nine sacks in four games, putting them on pace for 36 on the year -- the Lions had 44 last season.

If nothing else, Fairley's possible return -- and the Lions have yet to confirm anything about their rookie's playing status -- gives the Bears' offensive line something else to worry about.

And Chicago already had plenty to deal with Monday, given Detroit's ability to create pressure and the fact that the Bears have allowed 15 sacks already, second most behind only St. Louis.

The Bears might like to remind everyone that they beat the Lions twice last season, including 24-20 at Ford Field in December. But Chicago did more damage in the team's first meeting, a controversial 19-14 Bears win in Week 1 -- the infamous Calvin Johnson no-catch game. Julius Peppers planted Matthew Stafford to the turf in that one, injuring Stafford's shoulder and knocking him from the lineup for several weeks.

So, the Bears won't be the only team worried about protecting its quarterback come Monday night.

Fairley's potential return, though, could give an already flying-high Detroit team a boost.

Oh, and since you just saw the Stafford injury again, here's Suh hitting Jay Cutler in the head with a forearm shiver. Monday night could be fun:

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