Backus inactive, start streak ends at 186 games

DETROIT — Lions tackle Jeff Backus will miss Thursday’s game against Houston with a hamstring injury, ending his regular-season games started streak at 186.

The news had been expected since Backus sustained the injury in Sunday’s loss to Green Bay, but was made official when the Lions released their inactive list 90 minutes before the Thanksgiving Day kickoff. The total streak is 187 games, counting last year’s playoff loss in New Orleans.

Backus had never missed an NFL game, and also started all 50 of his games at Michigan, making the overall streak 236 years over 15 years. He last sat out a game in 1996, when he redshirted as a true freshman with the Wolverines.

“To have someone start 186 straight games, especially on the offensive line, is incredible even before you add in the games at Michigan,” Lions coach Jim Schwartz said after Detroit’s 34-31 loss. “You can’t do that because of talent, or luck, or hard work, or character. You need all of the above.”

Since the 1970 NFL merger, Backus has the second-longest streak of games started to start a career, trailing Peyton Manning’s 208.