Lions starting left tackle Jeff Backus had surgery to repair a torn bicep muscle Monday.
Backus injured his arm trying to reach back at a defender in the fourth quarter of the Lions’ 45-28 loss to the Saints in the playoffs Saturday.
“He’s going to miss a significant portion of time,” Lions head coach Jim Schwartz confirmed Monday. “You always have guys that will have an ankle cleaned out or a shoulder cleaned out – stuff like that. Jeff was really the big one that came from this last game.”
Backus, 34, began training camp on the physically unable to perform list because of a torn pectoral muscle.
He overcame that injury and was able to maintain his consecutive-start streak, which has reached 176.
Backus didn’t start the season as well as the Lions would have hoped, maybe because of the late start, but he was consistent the second half of the season.
“I thought that he settled down and then I felt protected very well as the year went on and has consistently been one of our best run-blockers also,” Schwartz said.
“A little bit that gets lost with Jeff is that Jeff is a very good run-blocker; very good at getting up the linebackers and cutting guys off and things like that. So it’s not all just pass blocking.”
Backus will be a free agent this offseason and it’ll be interesting to see how the injury and his age affect his prospects. The Lions could re-sign him for a discount.
“People take Jeff for granted,” center Dominic Raiola said. “He has a tough job every week. He’s playing against the right defense end and they’re some of the highest paid guys on the field. He does a great job and I think people take that for granted.”
Rookie offensive tackle Johnny Culbreath also had surgery Monday. His was on an elbow, Schwartz confirmed.
“He had a procedure on his elbow – not that big a deal,” he said.
Linebacker Isaiah Ekejiuba will see a specialist on his injured shoulder Jan. 25 and will have surgery shortly thereafter. Ekejiuba was placed on injured-reserve after Week 3.
Tags: Dominic Raiola, Isaiah Ekejiuba, Jeff Backus, Johnny Culbreath
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