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Rob Sims hopes Jeff Backus doesn't retire

Lions offensive lineman Rob Sims hopes that an offseason of change in Detroit doesn't include the end of teammate Jeff Backus' lengthy career.

USA TODAY Sports

Changes are to be expected in Detroit this offseason, but Lions offensive lineman Rob Sims hopes that the retirement of Jeff Backus isn't one of them, as MLive's Justin Rogers writes. The 36-year-old Backus appears to be considering bringing his 12-year career to a close after injuries plagued him throughout the 2012 season.

"I hope he plays. I'm going to call him every day to make sure he knows it," Sims told Rogers.

Sims and Backus, along with Dominic Raiola, Stephen Peterman and Gosder Cherilus, have been part of a five-man unit that's started 42 games together for Detroit over the past three seasons. Few teams ever see that kind of continuity from any unit, though that's likely to end in 2013.

Beyond the possible retirement of Backus, the Lions could also see the departures of Raiola, Peterman and Cherilus given their respective contract situations, Rogers writes. One of those spots will presumably be filled by 2012 first round pick Riley Reiff, but significant change is likely in order either way.