There is trouble brewing on the Detroit Lions defensive line already this year. We all know that the lack of a contract extension for Ndamukong Suh has been a major distraction this offseason and may have caused the Lions trouble in signing potential free agents, but there are more pressing concerns now.
Two of the Lions key players on the defensive line are causing the concern. Nick Fairley has struggled with weight ever since the Lions drafted him. Fairley showed up to mini-camp at nearly his college weight of 295 but since then has already packed 10 of those pounds back on. They are talking the good game out of the Lions front office and saying they are not concerned about it because he is still within his target goal, but obviously Fairley lacks discipline. Not taking his fifth year option may prove to be a smart move after all by the Lions front office.
To compound things, Ziggy Ansah has been placed on the physically unable to perform list. His offseason shoulder surgery has not healed as of yet and coach Jim Caldwell has stated that there is no timetable for his return. If Fairley and Ansah don’t perform at their full potential, the Lions will stop no one. Suh can be stopped, if he’s the only thing you have to stop and Jason Jones doesn’t strike fear into opponent’s hearts.
The Lions have banked on their defensive line being dominant. At this point, it would appear to be headed into the wrong direction. The Lions have no wiggle room salary cap wise due to the inability to renegotiate Suh’s contract. A typical Lions season may be looming in the shadows ahead.