by Brad Biggs
November 21, 02012
Barring an unexpected comeback, Jeff Backus is expected to miss an NFL game for the first time in his career.
The Detroit Lions left tackle is doubtful for Thursday’s game against the Houston Texans at Ford Field. Backus has started 186 consecutive games, the third-longest active streak in the league, but is hobbled by a pulled hamstring. According to Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press, rookie first-round pick Riley Reiff is expected to take Backus’ place.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers safety Ronde Barber (209) and Washington Redskins linebacker London Fletcher (189) are the only players with longer streaks. Fletcher could miss his team’s game Thursday against the Dallas Cowboys with a sprained left ankle.
"I don't think it's the numbers, I don't think it's the streak, I don't think it's the games in a row, it's that he wants to be out there with us -- I think that's the biggest thing," Lions center Dominic Raiola said. "One example, in the playoff game last year when he tore his biceps, he was trying to wrap it and go back in the game. There was like a minute left in the game and we were down like two or three scores.
"That'll give you a little example into the mind of Jeff Backus. He was born to play football, and that's what he does."
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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune