EARTH CITY, Mo. -- Almost since the day he arrived in the NFL via the 2011 draft, defensive tackle Nick Fairley has been dogged by weight problems. It's happening again now that Fairley has left the Detroit Lions for the St. Louis Rams.
Fairley was often considered overweight in his time with the Lions, ballooning to as much as 320 pounds. But here's where the plot twist comes in: The Rams aren't concerned with Fairly being too heavy. They actually have monitored his weight because he's close to being lighter than they'd like.
“I was actually concerned about Nick’s weight being on the low side," Rams coach Jeff Fisher said. "Nick has changed his lifestyle, changed his diet. We’re trying to get some weight back on him right now and he’s done it. He’s worked hard the last couple of weeks."
Fairley actually began the process of trimming down before last season in Detroit when he says he was able to get down to about 290 pounds with the help of a personal chef. After suffering a knee injury, there was concern that Fairley's weight would go back up but that hasn't been the case. In fact, when Fairley signed with the Rams in March, he said he was about 280 pounds upon arrival.
When the Rams started their offseason conditioning program, Fairley set about trying to put some weight back on but do it the right way by adding muscle. His goal was to tack on about 5 pounds per week until he got where the team wanted him to be.
The Rams list Fairley at 308 pounds on the current roster. During these organized team activities, Fairley has been working in a rotation with Aaron Donald and Michael Brockers and taking repetitions with the second-team defense.
"He’s doing fine," Fisher said. "His conditioning level is fine. If he’s going to compete with our guys up front he’s going to have to run and he knows that.”