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Player Bio: Nick Fairley

Saints welcome back the defensive tackle for his seventh NFL season

A look at Saints defensive tackle Nick Fairley throughout the 2016 season.


BORN: 1/23/1988

NFL CAREER – For six NFL seasons, Nick Fairley's combination of athleticism and power have contributed to the defensive line rotations of the Detroit Lions (2011-14), St. Louis Rams (2015) and the Saints (2016), where he's played in 77 career games with 46 starts and has recorded 211 tackles (129 solo), 20.5 sacks, four passes defensed, five forced fumbles and four fumble recoveries. Originally a first round draft pick of the Lions in 2011 out of Auburn, Fairley is coming off a breakout campaign in 2016, where he played in and started in all 16 contests for the first time in his career and finished the season with 50 tackles (32 solo) and a career-high 6.5 quarterback takedowns.

CAREER TRANSACTIONS – Agreed to terms with New Orleans Saints on a four-year contract, 3/10/17; Signed by New Orleans to a one-year contract (UFA-StL), 3/25/16; Placed on Reserve/Injured by St. Louis, 12/31/15; Signed by St. Louis, 3/13/15; Placed by Detroit on Reserve/Injured, 12/19/12; Signed by Detroit to a four-year contract, 7/29/11; Originally selected by Detroit in the first round (13th overall) of the 2011 NFL Draft.

2016 – Played in all 16 contests for the first time in his career in his first season with the New Orleans Saints, opening every contest as he finished with 50 tackles (32 solo) and a career-high 6.5 quarterback takedowns…Recorded five tackles and 1.5 sacks (11.5 yards) on QB Matt Ryan vs. Atlanta, Sept. 26…Had a multiple-takedown performance for second straight week as he made five tackles and 1.5 sacks in a come-from-behind win at San Diego, Oct. 2…Made five tackles, including combining with DE Darryl Tapp on a sack of QB Cam Newton vs. Carolina, Oct. 16…Made four tackles and sacked QB Trevor Siemian vs. Denver, Nov. 13…Made a season-high six tackles (four solo) and one takedown of Buccaneers QB Jameis Winston at Tampa Bay, Dec. 11…Made one solo tackle, including a sack to set a new career-high in finale at Atlanta, 1/1/15. 2015 – Played in 15 games for the Rams and totaled career-high 63 tackles (31 solo), a split sack, two passes defensed and one fumble recovery…Split a sack with DT Aaron Donald at Washington, Sept. 30…Had a fourth quarter fumble recovery fourth quarter vs. Cleveland, Oct. 25. 2014 – Saw season cut short due to knee injury at Atlanta, Oct. 26, but managed to finish the season with 14 tackles (eight solo), one sack and one forced fumble in his final season in Detroit...vs. N.Y. Giants, Sept. 8, created pressure multiple times on QB Eli Manning and had an assisted Carolina, Sept. 14, collected three total tackles, including one tackle for loss...vs. Green Bay, Sept. 21, forced a fumble that was picked up for a TD by S Don Carey and had two solo tackles…at N.Y. Jets, Sept. 28, generated three tackles, including his first sack of the season...At Minnesota, Oct. 12, collected one tackle for loss...Vs. New Orleans, Oct. 19, made two solo tackles and a quarterback hit...At Atlanta, Oct. 26, helped the Lions' defensive line apply pressure as they collected two sacks and five quarterback hurries. Left game early (knee)...Inactive for the final seven weeks of the season and the NFC Wild Card Playoff at Dallas, 1/4/15. 2013 – Started all 15 games he played in and finished the season with 35 tackles (23 solo), six sacks (36.5 yards), one pass defensed, two forced fumbles, a career-high two fumble recoveries, including one brought back for a touchdown and a safety...vs. Minnesota, Sept. 8, was tied for second on team with five tackles (two solo), including one stop for loss, recorded two quarterback hits and led team in sacks with 1.5 (loss of 9.5 yards) and had one fumble recovery...vs. Chicago, Sept. 29, recorded two quarterback hits and his first-career scoop-and-score TD on a fumble recovery from a fumble forced by DT Ndamukong Suh...At Chicago, Nov. 10, Sacked Bears QB Josh McCown for a three-yard loss late in fourth quarter and then effectively sealed win by tackling RB Matt Forte for a loss on Chicago's game-tying two-point conversion attempt. Also had four quarterback Pittsburgh, Nov. 17, sacked Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger for a nine-yard loss. Also had three tackles (two solo), including two tackles for loss...At Philadelphia, Dec. 8, had six tackles (five solo), including a tackle for loss...vs. N.Y. Giants, Dec. 22, registered his first-career safety on a nine-yard sack on Giants QB Eli Manning. Also had three solo tackles, including a tackle for loss, and two quarterback hits...At Minnesota, Dec. 29, registered five tackles (two solo), including a tackle for loss, 1.5 sacks (six yards) and two quarterback hits. 2012 – Breakout season got off to a strong start after recording the first Lions sack on season in Week One...Stepped in as a starter with DT Corey Williams out due to injury and created a young, stout tackle tandem with Suh...Totaled 5.5 sacks, 34 tackles (26 solo), two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery before a shoulder injury ended his season in Week 14...Vs. St. Louis, Sept. 9, recorded first sack of season for a five-yard loss in the home opener. Part of a line that tallied four sacks and held RB Steven Jackson to 53 yards rushing...At Tennessee, Sept. 23, Recorded first career fumble recovery...At Philadelphia, Oct. 14, split a sack DE Kyle Vanden Bosch on a pivotal second down play that resulted in a loss of 14 yards on the Eagles' opening drive in overtime. Also had two tackles (one solo) and one pass defense...At Minnesota, Nov. 11, recorded a career-high four tackles and a sack, giving him 2.5 quarterback takedowns on the season...vs. Green Bay, Nov. 24, recorded seven tackles and two sacks, both of which were career-highs, his first-career multi-sack game. Also registered first-career forced fumble on the Packers' opening drive in third quarter to halt Green Bay's drive at their own 17... At Green Bay, Dec. 9, continued his strong play against the Packers with a sack (seven-yard loss), four solo tackles, including two tackles for loss, and two quarterback hits...Placed on Reserve/Injured on Dec. 19. 2011 – Despite battling a foot injury throughout the year, played in 10 games as a rookie and registered 15 tackles (nine solo) and a sack...Suffered training camp foot injury that required surgery...Inactive for first three games....vs. Chicago, Oct. 10, made NFL debut and helped the defense limit the Bears to three second-half points as the Lions claimed a 24-13 victory...vs. Atlanta, Oct. 23, recorded his first career tackle. The stop came against Ryan on second-and-11 at the Detroit 47-yard line as he tripped him up on a two-yard gain...At New Orleans, Dec. 4, recorded his first-career sack dropping QB Drew Brees for a one-yard loss on second-and-three at the Saints 10-yard line...At Green Bay, 1/1/12, finished with four tackles...In NFC Wild Card playoff game at New Orleans, 1/7/12, had two tackles.

COLLEGE – Started 16-of-27 games at Auburn, recording 88 tackles (50 solo), 13 sacks for minus 89 yards, 27.5 stops for losses totaling 126 yards and 32 tackles-for-loss, posting 28 quarterback pressures. Also forced two fumbles, recovered three others, intercepted a pass and added a blocked kick...In 2010, had a school-record 11.5 sacks. Rotary Lombardi Trophy recipient, awarded annually to the nation's top collegiate lineman, and named BCS Championship game Defensive MVP after registering five solo tackles and one sack (seven yards), three stops for losses of 14 yards and a forced fumble against the Ducks...Helped lead Tigers' defense to be the NCAA's ninth-ranked rushing defense in 2010 (109.07 ypg.)...Part of a defense that held Oregon, who averaged 49.33 points per game, to just 19 points in BCS Championship game...Played and started in all 14 games in 2010, finishing with 60 tackles (36 solo), 11.5 sacks for minus 74 yards, two fumble recoveries, one interception and 21 quarterback pressures. Earned consensus All-American First Team selection (AP, Walter Camp and FWAA) and All-SEC First Team choice. Finalist for the Chuck Bednarik Award (Top Defender) and honored as the SEC's Defensive Player of the Year...Led unit that was top in the SEC and ranked ninth in nation, allowing 109.07 rushing yards per game...Began collegiate career at Copiah-Lincoln Community College (2007-08) in Wesson, Miss....In 2008, earned an All-Region XII selection after collecting 63 tackles with seven sacks and nine stops for loss in seven games…Philosophy major.

PERSONAL – Attended Lillie B. Williamson (Mobile, Ala.) HS playing football for head coach Bobby Parrish...Was a 5A All-State selection by the ASWA and finalist for the 5A Lineman of the Year Award...Graded out a 97-percent on the offensive line and added five receptions for 150 yards as a tight end in 2007...Participated in the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Classic as a senior and the AHSAA North/South All-Star game as a junior...Given a three-star rating by, who listed him as the 28th-best offensive guard prospect in the nation and the 15th-best recruit from the state of Alabama...Born on January 23, 1988 in Mobile, Alabama.

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