Nick Fairley's Injury Shows Detroit Lions Right to Keep DT Depth

Fans making the trip to Detroit Lions training camp to see rookie Nick Fairley were sorely disappointed today after he injured his foot yesterday.

From the Detroit Free Press:

Rookie defensive tackle Nick Fairley is in a walking boot a day after injuring his left foot in a pass-rush drill.

Fairley, the 13th overall pick in April’s draft, had X-rays during Monday’s practice after limping off with a foot injury. Detroit Lions coach Jim Schwartz said X-rays were negative at the time.

While the injury doesn’t appear serious, it does provide an example of why it would have been a bad idea to trade one of their defensive tackles to acquire a player at a position of need. Fans have tossed around the idea of trading Corey Williams or Sammie Hill for a cornerback, for instance. Their thinking is that the Lions have built such great depth and talent that the benefits of trading one in for a clear upgrade elsewhere outweigh the cost.

Perhaps the benefit would outweigh the cost. Or perhaps the line is devastated by injuries. Then what? Trouble.

Keeping a full stable of defensive lineman makes sense beyond a simple insurance policy. The Lions’ defensive philosophy begins with pressuring the quarterback with their front four – a task made much easier with depth that allows for liberal substitution patterns.

After years of mediocrity (or worse), the Lions have finally built a dominant unit up front. It doesn’t make sense to throw away the benefits of what that brings for an evening out of talent across the defense.

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Tags: Detroit Lions Nick Fairley

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