The Saints have placed defensive tackle Nick Fairley on the reserve/non-football illness list, meaning he will not play this season, the team announced Monday, and may have played his final NFL game.
Fairley was diagnosed with a heart condition this off-season, shortly after signing a four-year, $28 million contract with New Orleans. The first doctor advised Fairley not to continue his football career, head coach Sean Payton said earlier this month. A second doctor’s opinion “was a little different,” Payton said, and Fairley then saw a third doctor.
Fairley was determined to have an enlarged heart at the 2011 NFL combine but only recently did tests raise further concerns.
Fairley was a first-round pick by the Lions and spent four seasons in Detroit. He then signed a pair of one year contracts, first with the Rams, then with the Saints, before a rebound 2016 season in which he recorded 6.5 sacks earned him a multiyear deal.