By Ashley Dunkak
ALLEN PARK (CBS DETROIT) – Defensive tackle Nick Fairley, the first-round draft pick of the Detroit Lions in 2011, practiced with the second string Monday, and Lions head coach Jim Caldwell confirmed that Fairley is not currently at the top of the depth chart.
“He’s not starting right now,” Caldwell said. “He’s second-team.
“It’s a long week,” Caldwell added. “We’ve got a lot of work to do in between, and typically like most games, we’ll take a look at where we are and make an assessment on that toward the end of the week. It’s hard to make assessments during preseason during the early part of the week … Things could change along the way.”
Fairley has entered the final season of his contract with the Lions, who declined to pick up his fifth-year option this offseason. Playing next to Ndamukong Suh, Fairley has had moments of promise but has lacked consistency.
In place of Fairley has been veteran C.J. Mosley, who is in his 10th NFL season. He came to Detroit last season after stints with the Minnesota Vikings, New York Jets, Cleveland Browns and Jacksonville Jaguars – whom the Lions play in their preseason game Friday.
When Fairley practiced with the twos last week, Caldwell had said not to read too much into the redistribution of reps.
Fairley had declined to talk with reporters that day, nor was he available Monday, the first day this season the Lions have opened the locker room to the media. In the 45-minute span during which reporters were allowed, Fairley was not around.