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Nick Fairley Out for 2017 with Heart Condition, Career Could Be Over

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistJune 26, 2017

TAMPA, FL - DECEMBER 11: Nick Fairley #90 of the New Orleans Saints looks on during the game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium on December 11, 2016 in Tampa, Florida. Tampa Bay defeated New Orleans 16-11. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Joe Robbins/Getty Images

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

Fox Sports' Jennifer Hale reported earlier in the month Fairley had missed organized team activities after medical tests revealed he had a heart problem. ESPN's Adam Schefter tweeted Monday's announcement could put Fairley's NFL career in jeopardy.

ESPN's Josina Anderson reported doctors first detected Fairley's condition prior to the 2011 NFL draft, during which the Detroit Lions selected him with the 13th overall pick.

On June 8, Saints head coach Sean Payton said three heart specialists had evaluated Fairley.

"The first one was one that advised that he shouldn't play football again," Payton said, per NOLA.com's Josh Katzenstein. "The second opinion was a little different, and he's ... already gotten a third opinion. We're waiting on that opinion."

Fairley is in the first year of a four-year, $28 million extension he signed with New Orleans in March. Katzenstein reported the Saints "have started looking into ways to recoup the deal, or at least a portion" of it.

In his first season in New Orleans, Fairley finished with 43 combined tackles and a career-high 6.5 sacks, which ranked second on the team behind Cameron Jordan's 7.5.