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Saints DT Nick Fairley told not to play football by doctor

Nick Fairley

Nick Fairley

By Eric Edholm

New Orleans Saints defensive tackle Nick Fairley has received at least one recommendation from a doctor to stop playing football, per Saints head coach Sean Payton.

Payton revealed that Fairley, who has an enlarged heart, had one doctor tell him that his heart condition should prevent him from playing football ever again. A second opinion, in Payton’s words, “was a little different.”

Fairley visited a third physician and is now awaiting word on what they say about his potentially career-threatening ailment. Payton said they hope to know more about Fairley’s future in the coming weeks.
Fairley’s enlarged heart has been known since before he was a first-round pick out of Auburn in 2011. It was first detected at the NFL scouting combine but was not believed to be a career-threatening condition at the time and has been common medical knowledge to both the Saints, for whom Fairley was a standout last season, and to the Detroit Lions, who drafted him, and the St. Louis Rams, Fairley’s other NFL team.

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