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Detroit Lions DT Nick Fairley off crutches; Working on possible return

by Trevor R. Browning


Detroit Lions head coach Jim Caldwell told reporters Monday he wasn’t certain if defensive tackle Nick Fairley would return this season.

Fairley, who missed the last four games with a sprained knee, seems a little more optimistic than his head coach.

“Right now I’m taking it one day at a time,” said Fairley, who spoke to reporters in the locker room Wednesday for the first time since injuring his knee Oct. 26 vs. Atlanta. “Just trying to strengthen my knee up as strong as I can so I can hopefully get back out there this year.”

Fairley is at the facility daily, attending team meetings and splitting four hours between the weight room and rehabbing his knee. He feels he’s come a long way since suffering the injury Oct. 26 against the Atlanta Falcons in London, but he can’t say for certain he’ll be back this season.

Even though he couldn’t rule out eventually needing surgery, Fairley’s outlook remains positive. He said he’s in a great place mentally and remains confident he’ll be back out there this year.

NFARDetroit  The one thing Fairley is trying to block out is his impending free agency. He wants to get back on the field to help the team with the playoff push, but there’s a risk to returning too soon and further damaging his knee. It could kill his value on the open market.

Nick Fairley was the 13th pick of the 2011 NFL Draft by the Detroit Lions. Hailing from Auburn, Fairley was highly touted as one of the best Defensive Tackles in the draft. In his first four seasons in the league, he’s posted 66 tackles, 13.5 sacks, five forced fumbles, 3 of which were recovered, and a touchdown.

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