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Rams are concerned Nick Fairley isn’t heavy enough

Wild Card Playoffs - Detroit Lions v New Orleans Saints

NEW ORLEANS, LA - JANUARY 07: Nick Fairley #98 of the Detroit Lions reacts after a fumble in the second quarter by Drew Brees #9 of the New Orleans Saints in the during their 2012 NFC Wild Card Playoff game at Mercedes-Benz Superdome on January 7, 2012 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Kevin C. Cox

For most of his NFL career, defensive tackle Nick Fairley has dealt with criticism that he’s too heavy. Now, his current head coach worries that Fairley isn’t heavy enough.

“I was actually concerned about Nick’s weight being on the low side,” coach Jeff Fisher told reporters on Tuesday, via a transcript circulated by the team. “Nick’s changed his lifestyle, changed his diet. We’re trying to get some weight back on him right now and he’s done it. He’s worked hard the last couple of weeks. He’s doing fine. His conditioning level is fine. If he’s going to compete with our guys up front he’s going to have to run and he knows that.”

A first-round pick in 2011, Fairley signed a one-year deal with the Rams in the hopes of securing a long-term contract in St. Louis or elsewhere. Regardless of size, he needs to perform well enough to earn playing time among a very good defensive line -- and he needs to perform once he’s on the field.

Fairley is listed at 308 pounds, but he arrived in St. Louis weighing a mere 280.