Saints' Fairley to miss 2017 season with heart problem

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The New Orleans Saints announced Monday they placed defensive tackle Nick Fairley on the reserve/non-football illness list, which ended his 2017 season.

After all, Fairley's heart condition is something National Football League teams have known about since before he became a pro, so it's not like the Saints were blindsided about the possibility it could end up becoming an issue one day.

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Fairley was diagnosed with a heart condition this off-season, shortly after signing a four-year, $28 million contract with New Orleans. Fairley had career highs with the Saints in 2016 with 6.5 sacks and 43 tackles.

Saints coach Sean Payton said earlier this month one of those follow-up exams "saw further concern" and the Saints want to be certain Fairley's life would not be in danger if he were to again play football.

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However, Payton explained that Fairley's condition had apparently worsened or become more concerning this year. He signed with the Saints last offseason after spending four seasons with the Detroit Lions and another with the St. Louis Rams. Fairley has dealt with some injuries throughout his career but none as serious as the one they discovered in his pre draft physical. Fairley has seen three different doctors and it's finalized that he will miss the 2017 season. But now the future of Fairley with the Saints and his future in the National Football League are all on hold with Nick being shelved for the 2017 season.

With Fairley out, the Saints will lean on Sheldon Rankins, David Onyemata and Tyeler Davison as their top interior defenders.

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