New Orleans Saints defensive tackle Nick Fairley will play Sunday just days after his mother unexpectedly died. She was 51.
Paula Rodgers died Wednesday morning in Mobile, Ala., leaving behind four children and six grandchildren. Though she complained of chest pain a few weeks ago and briefly stayed in the hospital, her death was a surprise. Fairley's agent, Brian Overstreet, told NFL Media's Ian Rapoport that Fairley is playing because he believes his mother would've wanted him to.
"He's going to play for her," Overstreet said.
He missed practice this week to be with his family.
Fairley signed with the Saints as a free agent this year and is in the midst of a career year. He signed with New Orleans in part because it was close to his family, and his mother would come to nearly all of their home games. He's recorded 3.5 sacks in five games to go along with 19 tackles. New Orleans is taking on the Kansas City Chiefs Sunday.