Lions defensive tackle Nick Fairley returned to the practice field Tuesday morning for the first time since his arrest in Mobile, AL over the weekend.
Fairley was not made available for comment after practice, but his issues were addressed by some of his teammates and head coach Jim Schwartz.
"There certainly is accountability," said Schwartz. "That's always been the case. And there's a lot of different layers to that. There's the personal conduct policy which is a league matter. There's team rules, there's team discipline. There's also the substance abuse program which is a league matter.
"So there's a lot of different layers to that discipline process. But I think what we have here is a case of a few guys tainting the reputations of a lot of others."
"You know I love each individual that they brought in (in 2011)," said wide receiver Nate Burleson. "I don't second-guess the choice to bring any of these young guys in in that 2011 class. You just make mistakes in life. We've all been there. We've all been in situations where we either got away with it, wiped our forehead and said 'Thank God,' or actually got caught up in something.
"For us it's just, as vets, we need to continue to encourage them and at some point they gotta realize that this is more precious than a rare diamond, being in the NFL, getting paid a ton of money, having all the praise in the world.
"You just gotta realize this microscope is so much bigger than they may think."
Fairley was arrested early Sunday morning and faces charges for driving under the influence of alcohol. He was stopped after being clocked at 100 MPH and when asked for proof insurance he was unable to do so. He also was cited for having an open container of alcohol in the vehicle.
The Lions are in the midst of Organized Team Activities and today's practice was a pre-scheduled session that was open to the media.
Fairley participated in every part of the practice, both individual and team drills.
"Really no distractions," said defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch. "We came out here today, everybody worked hard. We feel like we're making a lot of progress as a team. Nothing's going to take away from what we're doing and how hard we're working and the progress we're making."
Defensive Tackle Corey Williams has witnessed these types of distractions before and feels confident Fairley will still contribute in the manner the Lions expected when the team drafted him in the first round in 2011.
"He's going to be allright," said Williams. "Everything's going to be allright. We're just going to keep on looking forward and let coach and them handle that. Whatever they do, we're just going to keep looking forward."
Wide Receiver Titus Young, who missed last week's workouts after reportedly being involved in a scuffle with teammate Louis Delmas, also returned to the field today and issued a statement prior to the workout.
“My recent actions have not always been up to the standards the Lions expect or the standards that I expect from myself. I am truly sorry for those times when I didn’t meet those standards.
“My absence from the practice facility and the OTAs last week was necessary for both myself and the team.
“The time away from the team afforded me the opportunity to reflect and come to the realization that by putting those incidents behind me I will be able to focus on becoming the best teammate and player that I can be.”
Neither Young or Delmas was unavailble for comment after today's workout.
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