Lions holding breath on Nick Fairley injury

August, 2, 2011
8/02/11
5:49
PM ET
The Detroit Lions already are dealing with significant injuries to left tackle Jeff Backus (pectoral) and, to a lesser extent, cornerback Alphonso Smith (broken foot). We might soon need to put rookie rookie defensive tackle Nick Fairley on that list.

Fairley injured his left foot during Monday's practice and wore a stabilizing boot while watching Tuesday's practice, according to Philip Zaroo of Mlive.com. Coach Jim Schwartz said Monday that X-rays were "negative," but on Tuesday, Schwartz said the medical evaluation of Fairley's injury wasn't complete.

"We're still doing some tests on him and having a lot of different people look at his stuff," Schwartz said, according to a team release. "But he's down for now and we'll see what happens."

There are plenty of serious injuries that can go undetected in a standard X-ray, but there is no sense speculating at this point. But if "a lot of different people" are looking at Fairley's test results, it's reasonable to assume this injury could develop into a significant story.

Defensive line is the Lions' deepest position, and even without Fairley, they could rotate Ndamukong Suh, Corey Williams and Sammie Hill at the position. But the Lions hoped Fairley would help elevate a really good defensive line to an elite level. Whether they will have that opportunity remains to be seen.

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