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Thursday, Aug. 04, 2011

Former Auburn players in NFL news: Nick Fairley has surgery; Carlos Rogers signs; Wes Byrum released

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ALLEN PARK, Mich. -- Detroit Lions rookie defensive tackle Nick Fairley had surgery on his injured left foot Wednesday.

The team said in a statement that he will miss a “significant portion” of training camp. Detroit opens the preseason at home against Cincinnati on Aug. 12. The Lions start the regular season at Tampa Bay on Sept. 11.

Fairley, the Lombardi Trophy winner at national champion Auburn last season, was injured Monday and in a walking cast a day later after X-rays showed no significant damage.

He was sent to Charlotte, N.C., for further evaluation Wednesday morning, and Dr. Bob Anderson performed the surgery. The team did not provide details on the procedure.

The 6-foot-4, 298-pound Fairley was drafted 13th in April’s draft to complement a defensive line that includes Ndamukong Suh and Kyle Vanden Bosch.

Fairley had 11½ sacks last season and a total of 24 stops behind the line for Auburn.

The Lions have finally started to roll in the Motor City, closing last season with four wins and a 6-10 record two years after being the NFL’s first 0-16 team. Suh was a big reason, and Detroit chose to beef up perhaps its strongest unit by drafting Fairley.

His progress, already slowed by the lockout, is now on hold again.

Detroit has already had to put defensive back Alphonso Smith and offensive tackle Jeff Backus on the active/non-football injury list. Smith broke his left foot, and Backus is recovering from a pectoral injury.

49ERS

Former Auburn CB Rogers signs free-agent contract

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- The San Francisco 49ers signed free agent cornerback Carlos Rogers and safety Madieu Williams to one-year contracts.

The team made two other moves Wednesday, adding former Saints center Jonathan Goodwin and linebacker Blake Costanzo.

Rogers spent the past six seasons in Washington and had 43 tackles and two interceptions in 2010. The ninth player taken overall in the 2005 draft, the 30-year-old Rogers is likely to replace Nate Clements, who was released by the 49ers in a cost-cutting move last week.

Williams played for Minnesota the past three seasons but was largely a disappointment with the Vikings after joining the team following a four-year stay in Cincinnati. Williams, who was due to make $5.4 million this season, made 50 tackles with one interception last season.

Goodwin’s signing shores up a position that had been in flux for the 49ers since David Baas signed with the New York Giants. The 6-foot-3, 320-pounder started 45 games over the past three seasons in New Orleans.

SEAHAWKS

Free-agent kicker Reed coming; AU’s Byrum going

RENTON, Wash. -- The Seattle Seahawks have agreed to terms with free-agent kicker Jeff Reed.

Reed finished last season with the San Francisco 49ers after playing the majority of his first 10 seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Reed was released by the Steelers after nine games in which he converted 15 field goals in 22 attempts.

Undrafted free agent kicker Wes Byrum of Auburn tweeted that Seattle had released him to make room on the roster for Reed.

The Seahawks confirmed the release of Byrum along with defensive tackle Ladi Ajiboye, guard Michael Huey, quarterback Zac Lee and linebacker Blake Sorensen.

The team also announced the signings of linebacker Michael Johnson and running back Chase Reynolds.

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