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Saints’ Nick Fairley has a heart condition that could end his career, per report

Fairley has been absent from the Saints’ voluntary workouts this offseason.

NFL: New Orleans Saints at Arizona Cardinals Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Saints defensive tackle Nick Fairley is coming off the best season of his career. Now he’s absent from OTAs because of a career-threatening heart condition, according to Jennifer Hale of FOX Sports.

ESPN’s Josina Anderson spoke with a source close to Fairley, who said Fairley’s heart condition was first diagnosed during pre-draft medical testing.

"A decision was made to further evaluate his condition and to recertify his health moving forward," the source said, via Anderson.

His Saints teammates have not heard from Fairley regarding the reason for his absence from OTAs, according to Hale.

The Lions selected Fairley in the first round of the 2011 draft, and he spent the first four seasons of his career in Detroit. After one year with the Rams, he signed with the Saints prior to the 2016 season.

Fairley had a career-best 6.5 sacks last season and contributed 43 combined tackles. He signed a four-year, $28 million contract extension with New Orleans this offseason.