Offensive tackle Jeff Backus is retiring from the NFL after 12 seasons, all with the Detroit Lions, according to a tweet from the team's official page. He was the 18th-overall pick in the 2001 NFL Draft and stuck with Detroit for his entire career.
In addition to his prolonged stay with Detroit, Backus also played in college at Michigan. He started 186 consecutive games in his career, a streak that came to an end this past November due to a hamstring injury. The Lions drafted Riley Reiff in the 2012 draft, and it seems that he would be the odds-on favorite to take Backus's place at left tackle.
However, Backus's retirement means the Lions will have to replace both tackles in 2013, since right tackle Gosder Cherilus left as a free agent to sign with the Indianapolis Colts.