Aug 9, 2014; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Lions defensive tackle Nick Fairley (98) during the fourth quarter against the Cleveland Browns at Ford Field. Detroit won 13-12. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

Detroit Lions demoting Nick Fairley to second team a motivational tactic?

Nick Fairley has not lived up to the billing as a former first round pick and Lombardi Award winner for the Auburn Tigers in his first three seasons with the Detroit Lions and as a result has been demoted to the second team.

Fairley did not start the Lions second preseason game after starting the opener and only played 15 snaps, the fewest of any defensive tackle, and this move could be viewed as a motivating tactic by first-year head coach Jim Caldwell.

“If you’re asking me whether or not Fairley is going to be a starter, he’s not starting right now,” Caldwell said Monday. “He’s second team.

“But the rest of it, we’ll look. It’s a long week. We’ve got a lot of work to do in between and typically like most games, we’ll take a look at where we are and make an assessment on that toward the end of the week.”

Caldwell leaves the door open for Fairley to earn his starting job back by saying  they’ll take a look at things at the end of the week and reassess where he stands.

Veteran C.J. Mosley started in Fairley’s place next to Ndamukong Suh against the Oakland Raiders but if Fairley is motivated, dedicated and in shape, he will get his starting job back.

The question is whether he is in shape or not after having issues with his weight early in his career. He reportedly lost nearly 30 pounds this offseason but showed up heavier for training camp than he did in the spring workouts.

Detroit declined to pick up his fifth-year option earlier this offseason in another motivational tactic to get the former first round pick to shed the bust label.

Tags: Detroit Lions NFL Nick Fairley

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