New Orleans Saints defensive tackle Nick Fairley won't play football in 2017, and potentially may never play professionally again.

The Saints placed Fairley on the reserve/non-football-injury list (NFI) today due to a heart condition.

Black & Gold

He was coming off the best season of his career, finding a family with the New Orleans Saints. Despite potentially hurting his negotiating power, he was very public about his desire to return to the Saints when entering free agency.

A four-year deal worth up to $28 million felt like a good fit for both. It was agreed to in March.

Now, three months later, there's real doubt as to whether Fairley will ever play again.

As I wrote about earlier this month, nothing about the Fairley situation is fair.

His health is more important, with football coming second, but as it relates to football, the Saints are officially without one of the biggest keys to a defense that has ranked near the bottom of the league the last 3 years, the biggest culprit in three consecutive 7-9 seasons.