Lions left tackle Jeff Backus was Detroit’s first draft pick of the Matt Millen era, and unlike most of Millen’s draft picks, Backus has been a valuable player: He started the first game of his rookie year and has started every game since then, for 186 consecutive starts in all.
But that streak is expected to end on Thanksgiving.
Backus hobbled off the field with a hamstring injury in Sunday’s loss to the Packers, and the Lions have described him as doubtful for Thursday’s game against the Texans. So barring Backus surprisingly waking up on Thursday morning and feeling fine, it appears that the consecutive games streak will end at 186.
That streak is the longest among active NFL linemen and the third-longest among active NFL players, behind only Tampa Bay’s Ronde Barber and Washington’s London Fletcher, whose streak is also in jeopardy this week.
Rookie first-round draft pick Riley Reiff will start at left tackle in Backus’s place. Reiff was drafted with the idea that he would succeed Backus as the franchise left tackle of the future, and Backus’s injury means the future in Detroit is now.