The Detroit Lions received some bad news today when it was announced offensive tackle Jeff Backus has decided to retire from the NFL. Backus has been a staple along the Lions offensive line at left tackle since being drafted with the No. 18 pick of the 2001 draft. In his 12 years with the team he has only missed one game.
Backus released a statement to confirm his release on Thursday.
“Today, I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s time for me to hang up my cleats and retire. It’s a bittersweet moment, but I’m content knowing I gave everything I had, played as hard as I could and tried my best to live up to the standards I believe in.
“I want to thank the Ford Family and the Detroit Lions for allowing me the privilege to represent the city of Detroit and play in the National Football League for the last 12 years. I also want to thank all of my coaches and teammates for all their support over the years.
“To the fans of Detroit, I thank you for the support and loyalty you have shown the Lions and myself. You deserve a winner.”
You can read the entire release here.
With the retirement of Backus, the team now has a massive hole on the left side of their line. It would be a shock if they didn’t turn their attention towards a player like offensive tackle Eric Fisher from Central Michigan with their top five pick in the 2013 NFL Draft. If they don’t fill the hole at left tackle, Matthew Stafford could be running for his life all season and Reggie Bush could regret signing with the team.