When Detroit Lions defensive tackle Nick Fairley hurt his knee on Sunday in London, it looked like a potentially serious injury. With the way his leg was awkwardly bent, and with Fairley later being carted to the locker room, the speculation upon first glance was that he tore his ACL or something along the lines of that.
As of Monday night, there's still no definitive word on Fairley's status going forward, but one report suggests that he sprained his MCL and PCL and may miss only 4-5 weeks.
Full extent of MCL/PCL damage to Nick Fairley's knee still not known. Source said the hope is he can return in 4 to 5 weeks.— Michael C. Wright (@mikecwright) October 27, 2014
The key word there is "hope," and with the full extent of his injury currently unknown, it's entirely possible that the 4-5 week timetable could end up being way off. Still, this is better than hearing that Fairley is out for the season, so I suppose that's a positive sign for the time being.
If the 4-5 week timetable does in fact end up being accurate, Fairley would be on track to return right around Thanksgiving (Week 13 vs. the Chicago Bears). If he's able to return in only four weeks, he could potentially be back for the Lions' game against the New England Patriots in Week 12, but that's likely an extremely optimistic view on the situation. In any case, simply getting Fairley back at all this season would be pleasantly surprising given how ugly the injury initially looked on Sunday.