Extent of Nick Fairley's injury still a question mark

Posted Oct 28, 2014

The biggest news item currently surrounding the Lions is the health of defensive tackle Nick Fairley, who left Sunday’s game in London with a right knee injury.

The biggest news item currently surrounding the Detroit Lions is the health of fifth-year defensive tackle Nick Fairley, who left Sunday’s game in London with a right knee injury.

He got hurt in the second quarter when he and Ndamukong Suh collided after hitting Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan on a pass rush. Fairley was bent back awkwardly on his knee.

Lions(Photo: Gavin Smith)

Jim Caldwell said in a press conference Tuesday that the team has yet to determine a timeframe for Fairley’s return, despite an ESPN report citing sources saying Fairley would miss four to six weeks with a sprained knee.

"We very rarely put a timetable on it," Caldwell said. "I know there was a report out that stated four to five weeks. That never came from our office, because of the fact that we have not certainly come to that conclusion as of yet. When we do, we'll certainly release it."

Caldwell was then asked if Fairley was expected back this season.

“Not certain,” he said. “They haven’t told me that he wouldn’t be at this point in time.”

Fairley was having his most consistent and productive season to date before the injury. He and Suh have been among the best defensive-tackle tandems in the league and the anchor for the stout Lions front four.

While it’s unclear how long Fairley will be out, Caldwell said he’s not concerning himself at this point with what any extended time off might do to Fairley's conditioning.

Fairley has done a terrific job all year of keeping his weight down by hiring a personal chef and has stayed in great shape.

“First and foremost I’m just concerned about him healing and getting ready for the game. We’ll worry about the other stuff later,” Caldwell said.

"I think he's made a commitment to getting himself in great shape and I think he's done so. He's conscious of it. He's done a tremendous job in that regard, so I'm not going to lose any sleep over that one. When we get him back, we'll be happy to get him back, that's for certain."