New Orleans Saints defensive tackle Nick Fairley has been away from the team's organized team activities in recent weeks, sources with knowledge of Fairley's situation have told NFL.com in recent days. His absence comes in light of medical tests that have put his NFL future in question, as Fox Sports' Jennifer Hale reported.
NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported that the medical issue being tested is a heart condition that previously came up in Fairley's pre-draft physical. The lineman has played with the condition for seven years in the league, Rapoport adds.
Fairley, who signed a four-year, $28 million deal with the Saints in March, visited a cardiologist last month and since then has been away from OTAs and out of communication with many of his teammates, sources say, adding that players who usually speak to Fairley on a regular basis have been unable to reach him.
When reached by NFL.com last week, Fairley's agent, Brian Overstreet, denied his client had visited a doctor recently.
"He's good, just doing his own thing," Overstreet said, adding that he speaks to Fairley every day. Overstreet declined to say when Fairley would be back to work.
Inside the Saints' facility, information on Fairley's status has been kept tight. One staffer told NFL.com everyone knows Fairley is dealing with a medical situation, but the full details aren't known by many.
A Saints spokesman did not reply to NFL.com's request on Friday for information on Fairley's status.