After being flagged for unnecessary roughness against the Kansas City Chiefs, New Orleans Saints defensive tackle Nick Fairley was fined $9,115 by the NFL on Friday.
The flag was drawn late in the fourth quarter with the Saints looking to stop the Chiefs from extending their lead too much, hoping to orchestrate a comeback in the eventual 27-21 loss. But Fairley’s penalty helped the Chiefs string together a drive long enough to wind the clock down, depriving Drew Brees and crew the chance at a two-minute drill.
Fairley’s mistake was partly by design as he tackled Spencer Ware who took a fake handoff while Tyreek Hill took a reverse.
“Coming off, I thought he had the ball,” Fairley said after the game. “When I realized he didn’t, it was too late.”
During practice this week, Fairley said the coaches haven’t addressed the penalty with him ahead of Sunday’s matchup with the Seattle Seahawks. “I think they’re letting me move on,” Fairley said, but also said he realizes he made a vital mistake.
This is Fairley’s first year in the Big Easy after making a pit stop in St. Louis last year and was with the Detroit Lions four years before that. Now with the Saints, he is on pace a career-high nine sacks should he stay healthy the rest of the year. The last season he had more than five sacks was in 2013 when he also forced a couple of fumbles.
It would also be his first season leading his team in sacks, as Cameron Jordan only has 2.5 sacks compared to Fairley’s 3.5 sacks through six games.