As it turns out, the get-up that Nick Fairley wore to the NFL draft wasn't just some ironic nerd costume. He really does love to study.
Carlos Monarrez of the Detroit Free Press writes Wednesday that Fairley's been a model student in the Detroit Lions' film rooms. Fairley fractured his foot a couple of weeks ago, so he hasn't been able to practice, but he's spent that time dominating the playbook and the film room.
"He's done a good job in our meetings," [Lions head coach Jim] Schwartz said. "He's done a good job in the weight room and doing what he can do, and when he's healthy, he'll be ready."
By all accounts, the other defensive tackles have watched Fairley flourish in the classroom during his time away from the field.
"It's funny to watch him in meetings," Ndamukong Suh said. "He's not going through anything, but he's blurting out answers and just interacting with other guys and really particularly myself and the other D-tackles."
That's good stuff to know if you're a Lions fan. Maybe the biggest appeal of the preseason is seeing your team's new draft picks in action, but obviously, with Fairley, injury has made that impossible.
I'd argue, though, that if you're looking for reasons to believe that a player will be a great pro, knowing that he's working so hard off the field is just as significant as anything you'd see him do on the field.
No one will say for sure, but it appears that Fairley's still aiming for a recovery that has him ready for the season opener.