The Detroit Lions placed defensive tackle Nick Fairley on injured reserve on Wednesday with a shoulder injury, but head coach Jim Schwartz said that Fairley's injury will probably not require surgery to properly heal.
The second-year man out of Auburn was finally starting to come into his own this season after a disappointing rookie year. Fairley has 34 tackles, 5.5 sacks, and two forced fumbles this season in 13 games, compared to 15 tackles and one sack in 10 games last season. He was drafted with the 13th overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft.
Fairley's emergence has been one of the few bright spots for the Lions in an otherwise disappointing season. The team was expected to contend for a playoff spot, but has stumbled to a 4-10 record and has been marred by discipline problems.
The Lions host the Atlanta Falcons for a rare Saturday night game this weekend. The game can be seen nationally on NBC.