Metairie, La. — Saints defensive tackle Nick Fairley is coming off one of his best NFL seasons and it might have been his last.
At the very least, he won’t be playing for New Orleans in 2017.
General manager Mickey Loomis said Monday Fairley has been placed on the team’s injured reserve list with a non-football illness designation, meaning the 2016 starter is out for this season.
The 6-foot-4, 308-pound Fairley had a career-best 61/2 sacks for the Saints last season, after which he signed a four-year extension worth up to $28 million.
However, symptoms related to an enlarged heart caused Fairley to miss offseason practices and minicamp while he saw specialists to determine whether playing football would be an undue health risk.
Saints coach Sean Payton has said at least one specialist recommended Fairley, 29 — a former Auburn star and 2011 first-round draft pick by the Lions — give up football.
Payton also had mentioned he wanted to be sure Fairley wouldn’t return unless he was confident enough in his health to play to his full potential.
“The most important thing right now in our mind is his well-being,” Payton said earlier this month, when Fairley’s status for this season was still in doubt.
“To play this game, there’s a little bit of mental toughness involved, obviously. I want to make sure, if in fact he’s playing it, again that he’s playing with full confidence that he’s healthy to play and that nothing severe would come of him playing.”
The Saints’ move on Monday sidelines Fairley only for 2017. His future beyond that remains unclear. He has been playing his whole NFL career with an enlarged heart, which can be caused by health problems of varying severity.
In addition to his career-high sacks last season, Fairley was credited with nine tackles for losses and 22 quarterback hits.
Cam Newton is throwing again.
The Panthers said on Twitter the NFL’s Most Valuable Player in 2015 threw his first passes since surgery in March for a partially torn rotator cuff in his right shoulder.
Newton is on schedule to participate in the team’s training camp in July and barring setbacks should be ready for the start of the season.
The Panthers released a short black-and-white video of Newton throwing in the team’s locker room.
Newton turned down interview requests through the team’s public relations staff. He said on the team’s website that while he’s not 100 percent it felt “cool” to be throwing for the first time in six months.
... Former Packers running back Ahman Green has been charged with felony child abuse after his 15-year-old daughter told police he punched her in the face.
Green, 40, is also charged with disorderly conduct in the incident late Sunday in the Green Bay suburb of Ledgeview.
According to a criminal complaint, Green’s daughter told police he struck her in the face in a dispute over getting her to do the dishes. Green allegedly told sheriff’s deputies he hit his daughter with an open hand.
According to the complaint, Green told deputies he “may have” thrown his daughter to the ground and against cabinets. He said he slapped her in the head and believed he might have hit her glasses, causing a swollen eye, according to the complaint.
Court records don’t list a defense attorney. Lammi Sports Management, which has handled Green’s appearances, had no immediate comment.
Green was inducted into the Packers Hall of Fame in 2014. He is the team’s all-time leading rusher and a four-time Pro Bowl pick.
... An Arizona judge ruled Vikings wide receiver Michael Floyd violated the terms of his house arrest by testing positive for alcohol earlier this month, ESPN has reported. However, Floyd was sentenced to only one day in jail.
The St. Paul, Minn., native is also required to complete the final five days of his house arrest, which he will be allowed to do in Arizona, according to the ESPN report.
Floyd was due in court at the Scottsdale City Court at 3:30 p.m. But he opted to do the hearing over the telephone. It was completed before his scheduled appearance.
Under the terms of his house arrest following his February guilty plea for extreme DUI in Arizona in December, Floyd is not allowed to consume any alcohol.
His court-ordered alcohol monitoring noted three failed tests and a missed test between 5:30 a.m. and 6:33 a.m. on Sunday, June 11, per police records obtained by the Star Tribune. Floyd was at the house of tight end Kyle Rudolph, his former Notre Dame teammate, who let Floyd stay with his family after he joined the Vikings.
Floyd claimed the failed tests were the result of him drinking Kombucha tea, which is a fermented beverage that can contain up to 0.5 percent alcohol when properly stored. Floyd told the court that he was unaware the tea contained alcohol.
The Vikings, who encourage players to drink Kombucha for its probiotic benefits, did not respond to a request for comment.