Remember, after the Lions took Nick Fairley in the first round, how we all talked about how awesome the Lions defensive line was going to be with Fairley and Ndamukong Suh? In fact, with Fairley and Suh, in his second year, the Lions were going to be a dominant force for years to come.
Even Suh was excited about the possibilities.
“It’s going to be exciting to be able to have a guy like that come out and be really a truly impact guy from the first couple days of him getting on the field,” Suh said in May. “I think on paper we have one of the strongest defensive lines across the board. It’s going to be exciting with that, but we’ve got to go out there and prove it. It may look good on paper, but you definitely want to get out there and make some noise.”
It looked great on paper, and so far, that’s where it’s stayed because Fairley hasn’t played yet.
|Fairley and Suh Possibilities|
That said, there was good Fairley news Friday.
As the Detroit Free Press writes, Fairley returned to practice today for the first time since Aug. 1 after spending the last couple of weeks conditioning and getting ready to return.
“It’s (his) first day,” coach Jim Schwartz said. “Still got a long way to go, but there’s steps along the way, and this was one of them.”
So, when can he return? Next week perhaps?
“You can’t tell,” defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham said. “I’m not a trainer or a doctor or anything like that, but my hope as a football coach is to get him out there and let’s get him ready to roll, 'cause I think he’s pretty good.”
The injury issue first came up in training camp when, after a practice, Fairley mysteriously was spotted in a walking boot. Fairley said his ankle injury wasn’t a big deal. And it wasn’t. Until it was determined that the injury was worse than Lions trainers originally thought and that he had to have surgery. Fairley was supposed to miss a significant portion of training camp, but obviously, he’s been gone much longer than that.
But he got a little bit closer today to jumping off the paper and back on the field.
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