After Further Review: With Nick Fairley down, Sheldon Rankins mu - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports, Social

After Further Review: With Nick Fairley down, Sheldon Rankins must step up

Nick Fairley will miss the 2017 season (Source: David Grunfeld, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune). Nick Fairley will miss the 2017 season (Source: David Grunfeld, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune).
(WVUE) -

You have to feel for Nick Fairley. He worked to reshape his image last season and bet on himself by signing a one-year deal with the team. He responded with a career-high 6.5 sacks and became the Saints best defender. He signed a brand new four-year, $28 million contract and rejuvenated his career. Now, that career seems tenuous at best. Heart conditions are nothing to play around with and apparently his is too risky for this season. It really is too bad for both Fairley and the team.

The Saints are now left to regroup. It won’t be easy but it can be done. His absence will hurt but it’s not insurmountable to overcome. The current depth chart at defensive tackle reads: Sheldon Rankins, David Onyemata, Tyeler Davison, Justin Zimmer, Ashaad Mabry and Tony McDaniel.

Rankins is reason number one to still believe.

He and Fairley would have made a dynamic duo along the interior of the Saints defensive line. That won’t happen now. But make no mistake, Rankins was drafted in the first round to be the star not the  sidekick. It was him, not Fairley, that was expected to have the kind of season Fairley had last year. In 2016, Fairley was viewed as a bonus until Rankins was injured and he responded. In 2017, it’ll be Rankins turn to step up with Fairley on the mend. He showed flashes of that ability in half of a season last year. He finished with four sacks in eight games.

The difference is this year they won’t be waiting for those numbers to improve. Without Fairley by Rankins’ side, the Saints will be counting on it.

Copyright 2017 WVUE. All rights reserved.

  • SportsMore>>

  • No Breaux, next man up at cornerback for the Saints

    Williams knows all too well about injuries taking away playing time. Michael DeMocker, NOLA.com | The Times-PicayuneWilliams knows all too well about injuries taking away playing time. Michael DeMocker, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune
    With Delvin Breaux out for six weeks, one of the Saints motto's comes into play, next man up. "For all of us. We all have to step it up a notch. Because he's a big part of our defense. We can all play. We need to step it up for him, and also for the defense, to make sure we win games," said cornerback P.J. Williams. Williams missed 14 games last season due to a concussion he suffered at the Giants. Last week against the Browns was his first time hitting an opponent si...more>>
    With Delvin Breaux out for six weeks, one of the Saints motto's comes into play, next man up. "For all of us. We all have to step it up a notch. Because he's a big part of our defense. We can all play. We need to step it up for him, and also for the defense, to make sure we win games," said cornerback P.J. Williams. Williams missed 14 games last season due to a concussion he suffered at the Giants. Last week against the Browns was his first time hitting an opponent si...more>>
  • Chick-fil-A in Falcons' new stadium won't open on Sundays

    Chick-fil-A in Falcons' new stadium won't open on Sundays

    Wednesday, August 16 2017 1:38 PM EDT2017-08-16 17:38:55 GMT
    Wednesday, August 16 2017 4:03 PM EDT2017-08-16 20:03:15 GMT

    The Chick-fil-A restaurant in the Atlanta Falcons' brand-new home stadium will only be open for one game this season.

    more>>

    The Chick-fil-A restaurant in the Atlanta Falcons' brand-new home stadium will only be open for one game this season.

    more>>
  • Want to win a trip to New Orleans, a night on the town and SAINTS TICKETS?

    Want to win a trip to New Orleans, a night on the town and SAINTS TICKETS?

    You have our free FOX 8 Final Play App, so you already get tons of big Black & Gold team info and tools at your fingertips. But here's something else you can get! During this promotional period, you will be able to access entry for our FINAL PLAY GETAWAY CONTEST

    more>>

    You have our free FOX 8 Final Play App, so you already get tons of big Black & Gold team info and tools at your fingertips. But here's something else you can get! During this promotional period, you will be able to access entry for our FINAL PLAY GETAWAY CONTEST

    more>>
Powered by Frankly