Detroit Lions offensive tackle Jeff Backus, the all-time franchise record with 187 consecutive starts, announced his retirement Thursday after 12 seasons. Backus, 35, has played left tackle since being selected in the first round of the 2001 NFL Draft out of the University of Michigan. His consecutive-start streak ended last season when he was inactive on Thanksgiving Day against the Houston Texans. He set the franchise record on Dec. 4, 2011, when he passed Hall of Fame cornerback Dick LeBeau with his 172nd. Since the 1970 merger, Backus is also the first offensive lineman to begin his career and start his first 160 career games.
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