By Ashley Dunkak
FORD FIELD (CBS DETROIT) – For the first day of OTAs, the Detroit Lions had one starting defensive tackle in attendance and one absent. Ndamukong Suh, who had worked out individually instead of with the team in previous weeks, came to Allen Park for the Tuesday practice, but Nick Fairley did not show up.
Lions head coach Jim Caldwell said Fairley’s absence was related to an injury, one that evidently necessitated surgery.
“He’s got a medical issue that he’s dealing with,” Caldwell said Tuesday night at the Taste of the Lions event. “He’ll be back as soon as he’s recovered from that … Not going to get involved in it deeply, but he had a procedure.”
While the coach would not go into detail on what ailed Fairley, he did talk at some length about Suh. The coach said Suh does not need to explain anything to his teammates, despite the fact almost everyone else has attended the optional workouts regularly. As far as whether Suh had addressed the team upon his return, the coach did not say that Suh did or did not. He did suggest that such an address was unnecessary.
“I’m not certain why he would,” Caldwell said. “Why would he do that? I don’t understand why that would even come up as an issue.
“Why? I don’t understand that,” Caldwell continued. “He didn’t do anything wrong. He didn’t break any rules. It’s all voluntary. I don’t think it makes much sense.”
Suh has always trained separately for a portion of the offseason, but his routine came under intense scrutiny this offseason because he was named a captain in 2013 and because the team underwent a coaching change in the offseason.
Both Suh and Fairley will be free agents after this season.