Lions DT Fairley's hot start vs. Saints derailed by foot injury

Facing the first of two games without All-Pro defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, the Lions desperately needed Nick Fairley in the trenches Sunday night.

The rookie defensive tackle did just that through most of the first half against the New Orleans Saints, only to see his best game of the season cut short by a foot injury before the Lions eventually lost 31-17.

Fairley has battled foot problems throughout the season. His NFL debut was delayed until Week 5 because of offseason surgery; he sat out in Week 8 because of the foot issue and aggravated the injury again after recording three tackles and his first career sack in the first quarter Sunday.

Lions coach Jim Schwartz, via the Detroit Free Press, said X-rays on Fairley's foot were negative.

"But it was sore," Schwartz said. "He obviously has a screw in from his broken foot this summer and it was in that area that hurt him. He was cleared to go back in the game, but he wasn't moving well enough to be real effective and it was a shame because he was playing well at the beginning of the game."

Fairley initially went into the visitor's locker room to have his foot examined -- opting to walk instead of ride in a cart -- and returned to play a couple of more snaps in the second and third quarters before leaving the game for good.

"I felt like I was on my way to a good game," Fairley told the Free Press. "But things didn't go the way I wanted to -– it didn't end up how I wanted. I have to go in with the trainers (on Monday) and see what's going on, and just make it better.

"I don't know how bad it is, I don't know how good it is."

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