Extent of injury to Lions' Nick Fairley not known

Rod Beard
The Detroit News

Allen Park — With the bye week, Lions players will have a few days off from practicing, giving them a chance to heal some of their many injuries before their next game, against the Dolphins on Nov. 9.

The time off could be long enough to get a few of their key offensive players back, including Calvin Johnson (ankle), Reggie Bush (ankle) and tight ends Brandon Pettigrew (ankle), Eric Ebron (hamstring) and Joseph Fauria (ankle); all missed Sunday's win over the Falcons.

"I know they're on the right track; there are no guarantees, but we'll see," Caldwell said Tuesday during his weekly press conference.

The outlook for defensive tackle Nick Fairley is a little more muddled. Fairley hurt his right knee after colliding with Ndamukong Suh while pursuing Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan and was down on the field for a few minutes.

A report by ESPN Chicago's Michael C. Wright indicated that Fairley had injured his medial-collateral and posterior-collateral ligaments and would be out four to five weeks. But Caldwell said that the extent of the injury still hasn't been determined.

"Until we get everything looked at and make a determination, we very rarely put a timetable on it," he said. "I know there was a report out that stated four to five weeks but it never came from our office because of the fact we have not come to that conclusion as of yet. When we do, we'll certainly release it."

Caldwell said on WXYT radio on Monday night that Fairley would be seeking a second opinion in the coming days but there's no expectation that the injury will end his season.

"I'm not certain how that'll work," Caldwell said. "They haven't told me that he wouldn't be (back this season) at this point in time."

Fairley, listed at 6-foot-4 and 308 pounds, has been in much better shape during the regular season after being reprimanded for being out of shape in the preseason. With an injury that will limit his ability to work out, Fairley is at risk to get out of shape.

But Caldwell said he's not worried about that at this point.

"First and foremost, I'm just concerned about him healing and getting ready for the game; we'll worry about the other stuff later," Caldwell said. "He's made a commitment to get himself in great shape and he's done so. He's conscious of it and he's done a tremendous job in that regard.

"I'm not going to lose any sleep over that one. When we get him back, we'll be happy to get him back — that's for certain."