Lions’ Jim Caldwell remains coy on Nick Fairley’s status after game

By Josh Katzenstein
The Detroit News
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Oakland, Calif. — Defensive tackle Nick Fairley generated little push when he was on the field in the Lions’ 27-26 exhibition loss to the Oakland Raiders Friday night, but coach Jim Caldwell said it was too early to evaluate his performance after the game.

C.J. Mosley replaced Fairley in the starting lineup after practicing with the starters ahead of the 2011 first-round pick all week.

“I’m not going to comment on his performance because I’ve got to look at the film and see,” Caldwell said. “Where he plays down in the trenches is very difficult to tell exactly, but the reason why is because of the fact that we thought C.J. was playing better.

“So we put C.J. in his place, and we’ll see how Nick played, make another comparison, and we’ll see where we are next week.”

Even though he played some snaps alongside the first-team defensive line, Fairley stayed on the field after the starters exited the game.

Fairley finished with one tackle, but it came on a 3-yard gain by Raiders running back Darren McFadden after he was pushed back by the offensive line.

Mosley, meanwhile, had three tackles.

How long Fairley stays in the doghouse remains to be seen, but the Lions practice again Saturday. Where he practices will be a telling sign about whether or not he’ll start in the third exhibition game next week.

Caldwell said he’s giving Fairley the same message as all other players on the roster.

“No different than what we tell everybody else,” he said. “There’s a certain standard that we’re looking for, and everybody’s got to measure up — and him included.”

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