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Reports: Saints' Nick Fairley being tested for heart condition

New Orleans Saints defensive tackle Nick Fairley could have a concerning heart condition. (AP)

The New Orleans Saints are concerned about the health of defensive tackle Nick Fairley, who is being tested for a possible heart condition, according to multiple reports.

Fairley has not been present at the team’s first two series of voluntary offseason practices, and a Fox Sports report indicates that it’s related to a heart condition that could threaten his career.

Fairley’s agent, Brian Overstreet, seemed to downplay his client’s condition to NFL.com: “He’s good. Just doing his own thing.” However, the website also indicated that Fairley met with a cardiologist last month and that an unnamed member of the Saints’ staff member said the team was aware Fairley was dealing with a medical concern.

The Saints signed Fairley to a four-year, $28 million extension this offseason after a fine 2016 season, with 6.5 sacks, nine tackles for losses and 22 QB hits.

Fairley, 29, was a first-round pick (13th overall) of the Detroit Lions in the 2011 NFL draft. It was believed that a pre-draft test indicated some concern about his heart but that it wasn’t worrisome enough to keep him from being a high pick. He spent his first four up-and-down seasons with the Lions and also played for the St. Louis Rams before joining the Saints prior to last season.

The Saints don’t have a lot of depth at defensive tackle beyond Fairley, with Sheldon Rankins (coming off an injury-shortened rookie season), Tyeler Davison and David Onyemata.

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