Former Auburn defensive tackle Nick Fairley will play with a heavy heart Sunday.
As reported by NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport, Fairley will take the field for the New Orleans Saints against the Kansas City Chiefs despite the player’s mother, Paula Rodgers, passing away last Wednesday. She was 51.
Rapoport’s report mentions that Fairley traveled to the Mobile, Alabama, area early Wednesday morning to be near his mother and other family members as Rodgers passed. Four kids and six grandchildren are left behind. The funeral is scheduled for Tuesday in Theodore, Ala.
Fairley’s agent, Brian Overstreet, told Rapoport that Fairley will play Sunday with the thought that Fairley’s mother would have wanted her son to participate.
Fairley, taken by the Detroit Lions as the 11th overall pick in 2011, has 19 tackles and 3.5 sacks this season.