Injuries are part of football, but the health situation involving New Orleans Saints defensive tackle Nick Fairley is different.

"Life isn't fair." The phrase is used often, because it's true. Every man or woman who has coached sports in their lifetime has likely uttered the phrase to their team at one time or another.

Nick Fairley is coming off the best season of his career. He found a family with the New Orleans Saints. Despite potentially hurting his negotiating power, he was very public about his desire to return to the Saints when entering free agency.

A four-year deal worth up to $28 million felt like a good fit for both.

Voluntary OTAs began last week, and Fairley wasn't there. Teammates weren't sure of his whereabouts.

Eventually, news came out of a heart condition, putting 29 year old Fairley's football career in jeopardy. The heart ailment was first detected 6 years ago during a pre-draft physical, but it didn't prevent him from playing the last 6 years in the league. Time will tell if it can be rectified, but as of now, his status is in question.

An article by the former team physician of the San Diego Chargers offers reason for optimism regarding Fairley's playing future, but columnist Kevin Acee is projecting. He hasn't seen any of Nick's medical records.

For Fairley, a player who finally reached his potential last season in a year full of personal hardship (his mother passed away in October), it's a cruel twist in a path that was looking up.

For the Saints, they could lose an anchor in the middle of their defensive line, especially on 3rd down and passing downs.

Fairley's ability at defensive tackle is a huge asset for second year pro DT Sheldon Rankins, as he and the rest of the defense benefit greatly from Nick's pass rush ability.

Defensive tackles Tyeler Davison and David Onyemata are not suitable replacements, and the Saints won't find one laying around in June.

Everything football related about Nick Fairley's situation isn't fair.

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