Detroit Lions offensive lineman Jeff Backus hasn't always won over the hearts of the fans with his play. But he has done one thing that many Lions players can't attest to: being healthy.â†µ
Backus is in line to start his 150th straight game Sunday against the New York Giants, a streak that dates back to Sept. 9, 2001.â†µ
"I've been fortunate to avoid any major injuries," said Backus, the starting tackle for the Lions. "I've played a long time. I'm not sitting here patting myself on the back about it. Obviously, it's a cool thing, but more than anything I've been very fortunate to stay as healthy as I have and, hopefully, it continues."â†µ
Backus' streak is first among active lineman and only trails Hall of Fame cornerback Dick LeBeau (171) on the Lions' all-time list.â†µ
"He's not flashy; he doesn't get a lot of attention," said Giants defensive end Justin Tuck, who'll oppose Backus on Sunday. "But he's a guy that just gets the job done. He's kind of like one of those lunch-pail guys that go to work everyday regardless of fame or fortune. He goes and does his work and that's definitely what you want."â†µ
Maybe, more importantly, he's got thick skin. As a member of the Lions for his entire career, Backus has never made the playoffs or even been a part of a winning team. That's a big commitment from a guy who went to Michigan for four years before the Wolverines' program took a spill.