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Lions OT Backus might miss first game of 12-year career

The SportsXchange

Jeff Backus' string of 186 consecutive starts could be in jeopardy when the Detroit Lions face the Houston Texans.

The left tackle who has started every game of his 12-year pro career left Sunday's loss to Green Bay with a hamstring injury and the Lions listed him as doubtful on Thanksgiving. He did not practice Tuesday.

If Backus can't play, rookie first-round draft pick Riley Reiff will get the start. Reiff entered the game last week in the first half when Backus limped off the field.

Backus' consecutive-game streak is the longest among current NFL linemen and the third longest in the NFL for active players.

"I'm ready to go," Reiff said. "Any time you get on the field, you gain a little bit more knowledge, a little more experience."

Coach Jim Schwartz hasn't ruled Backus out yet.

"Any athlete takes pride in their performance, their abilities. Their availability is extremely important," Schwartz said. "But every athlete also has what's in the best interest of the team ahead of themselves and Jeff is that kind of guy also."
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