His sophomore season comes to an end just when he had been proving his worth as the No. 13 overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft and had been blossoming in the middle of Detroit’s defensive line.
Through 13 games (seven starts), Fairley, 24, made a total of 34 tackles, 5.5 sacks and a pair of forced fumbles in 2012, with 23 of those tackles (including six for a loss), four of those sacks and both forced fumbles happening in his past five starts.
Off-the-field, however, it had been a rather unforgettable year. He was arrested twice — once for DUI and another for marijuana possession, though the marijuana charges were later dropped.
To fill his roster spot, the Lions signed former Michigan State defensive tackle Ogemdi Nwagbuo.
Nwagbuo played two and a half seasons (2009-2011) with the San Diego Chargers, starting five games in his first year. He also played in four contests with the Carolina Panthers last season after being cut by the Bolts, but the Panthers let him go before the start of the 2012 regular season.
Sammie Lee Hill will start opposite Ndamukong Suh again on Saturday against the Atlanta Falcons without Fairley. The team also re-signed Andre Fluellen last week to help with depth, but the front four struggled to create pressure against Arizona.
Michael Gartman is a College Football and NFL Senior Writer, the AFC South and NFC West Lead Writer and the Founder, CEO of GridironGrit.com. He’s also about to start reporting on topics across all sides of the political spectrum and analyze important issues in the liberty movement for a political website. Follow him @_MichaelGartman on Twitter.