Nick Fairley wants to stay in Detroit.

"I want it to be," the defensive tackle said Monday. "I love Detroit, to be honest. I feel the city, the people in it. I love the atmosphere of basically the hard work that they bring. I'm just all work and that's definitely the vibe I get from the city and I like it."

Even after riding the roller coaster over four seasons with the Lions, where he has had to answer questions about his weight and work ethic, Fairley apparently doesn't want to get off and find another ride. Fairley, an unrestricted free agent after the Lions balked at picking up his fifth-year option, has grown comfortable with the coaches and the organization and he spoke earnestly Monday about wanting to stay in Detroit.

"Yeah, being around four years," he said, "being able to know the coaches, basically getting to know the coach, getting to know the organization, the owners and everybody, I feel great around here. I love it. I know the Ford family real good. I speak to them every time I see them. I love vibe, basically. I love the vibe."

Fairley missed the final nine games, including Sunday's 24-20 wild-card playoff loss at Dallas, with a knee injury that he said won't require surgery.

"I just have to keep rehabbing," he said. "Right now it's the strongest it was. It was a minor strain. I just needed to tighten it up. It tightened up pretty good. But to the docs it wasn't tight enough to go out there yesterday."

Fairley said he definitely would have played this week in Seattle if the Lions had advanced. He was close enough Sunday in Dallas that he pleaded his case to doctors to let him play.

"Of course," he said. "I wanted to be out there yesterday with the guys going to war. It didn't happen. It was on the docs, like I said, earlier in the week. It wasn't on me. They made a business decision and it's just something we've got to deal with.